Corpse Carving – Grotesque Goratorium – Disemboweled Gorific Feast

The more I listen to Corpse Carving the more I feel that they have a very unique style of slamming death/grind that just so happens to not be very good.  Now they’ve been doing their brand of music for half a decade now (at least I think; they may be broken up, not sure) with no hint of slowing down, but there’s been no hint of progressing either.  The material on ‘Grotesque Goratorium – Disemboweled Gorific Feast’ sounds almost exactly the same as their earlier material (though marginally better written), so if you didn’t like the old stuff, you probably won’t like this much more.  I do like this more than the stuff I heard on the split with Mincer, though the stuff here isn’t exactly high-minded music.  Still, I have to appreciate that the band did get better, and it sounds like they took about ten minutes with each song instead of five.  I guess that counts for something.

What set Corpse Carving from other slam-infused bands was twofold: the presence of extensive goregrind influence in the speedier sections and the unique, textured riffing style they pioneered.  Many of the slams on this disc are rhythmically unique; not really in note patterns, but through the delicate fluttering of palm mutes and bursts of stop/start guitarwork.  The fairly deft drum programming adds to this as well; Corpse Carving always took a bit more time than other grind artists with their programming, adding actual fills and moving their rhythms around the virtual kit.  The riffing is also markedly more atonal than other death/grind bands; while you could describe nearly all death metal as ‘atonal’, they’re all atonal in roughly the same way, which, after familiarity has set in, ends up sounding pretty melodic.  Corpse Carving moved things around more; riffs are composed of phrases that begin traditionally but decay with an infusion of dissonant chords from out of the left field.  Of course, after about twenty tracks this technique becomes predictable too, but it’s still a nifty little novelty.  The vocals on this album are probably the biggest flaw; the lack of lyrics give them no direction to go in and they’re tonally weak, with the sloppy gurgles not really having much force behind them.

Corpse Carving understandably sucks at making unique songs.  Every track sounds almost exactly the same, with similar combinations of midpaced, moderately technical rhythmic play, straightforward tremolo/blast, and chunky slams.  There are parts I do remember, but I TOTALLY couldn’t tell you which song they belong to.  All the memorable parts on ‘Grotesque Goratorium – Disemboweled Gorific Feast’ are just that- parts, not songs.  Individual sections of music.  The fact is that the structures of Corpse Carving songs are almost entirely interchangeable; you could snap off the stylistic sections of any given track and attach them at random to others and they would be just as coherent, because there’s no real SONGWRITING in this music.  It’s just a collection of riffs and rhythms with no real relation to each other.  That’s not a really bad thing, I guess, but I do tend to expect more from music, some sort of structural significance apart from A, B, C.

I have a sort of irrational soft spot for this music because I, in a way, get where the band is coming from.  They want to make brutal, underground metal, and whether they’re good at it or not doesn’t really matter because they’re from fucking Tasmania and every metalhead on the island is going to go to every one of their shows.  It’s a matter of community more than music, and Corpse Carving is/was a great example of those ethos.  It’s a band composed of a bunch of kids slapping songs together, managing to get a record deal, and grinding out completely joyful hymns to death, sex, and sex with those who have experienced death recently.  I don’t think it’s very good music, but I still listen to it.  No, I can’t really tell you why.

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~ by noktorn on May 6, 2008.

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