Internal Bleeding – The Extinction Of Benevolence

The intro of this album ALMOST gets me eager to listen to it.  Those smooth, rounded synth tones make me think that I’m about to experience something of notable ambition and creativity.  Maybe those spacey melodies will be developed further in a metallic form on the main songs of the album!  But then I remember it’s an Internal Bleeding album right as ‘Ocular Introspection’ comes on and the shriveling of my hope is almost audible.

Okay, I can give Internal Bleeding credit for advancing a little bit beyond the blatant Suffocation fellatio that was ‘Voracious Contempt’.  I can’t give them credit for having managed to craft an engaging album yet, but at least it’s somewhat better.  I’m not sure why production-wise the guys in the band decided that the one thing necessary to make it better was to make the guitars and bass even more buzzy, distorted, downtuned, and borderline incoherent, or to jam the vocals right into their center so they’re only occasionally somewhat audible, or to make the drums sound like a toy kit from K-Mart, but maybe that’s why I’m not in a major death metal band.  It sounds terrible, it’s pretty much everything wrong with mid-’90s death metal production on a single record.  Whatever.

About half of the music here is still lifted from ‘Pierced From Within’, but now the other half is the blend of straightforward brutal death metal with NY-style hardcore that Internal Bleeding is really known for.  There aren’t as many ‘slam’ parts as on the previous album, but there’s still a lot of midpaced chugging.  This time, though, there’s clearly a hardcore edge; it’s not very obvious or clear, but just about any listener is going to notice it even if they have trouble picking out exactly why.  Maybe it’s just the lack of blast beats or tremolo riffs.  There’s almost none of either of those factors, which is what makes them so surprising when they come around.  The problem with that?  They don’t fit the rest of the music at all, and the production makes it sound like a Hate Eternal b-side.

‘Voracious Contempt’ was pretty weak; this is somewhat better.  It’s midpaced, sludgy death metal with a hardcore edge.  Internal Bleeding would continue to get better from here, though they never really got into ‘great’ territory.  For some reason, this is regarded as the worst Internal Bleeding album by most of the band’s fans (and yes, they do have fans somehow), which doesn’t really make sense to me, as it’s by far the least offensive and most generic release they put out.  If you’re looking for the distilled essence of what this band sounds like, it’s pretty perfect.  Boring in other respects though.

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~ by noktorn on March 21, 2008.

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