XXX Maniak – Harvesting The Cunt Nectar

“So is that the first time you fucked a dead girl?”

If the quality of music was measured purely by how many times you can listen to an album without getting bored, ‘Harvesting The Cunt Nectar’ would rate somewhere near the top of human artistic achievement.  Fortunately there are other considerations for musical quality, so a CD entitled ‘Harvesting The Cunt Nectar’ thankfully doesn’t have to appear on any VH1 TOP 66 GRIND MOMENTS special.  As far as the pantheon of goregrind goes, though, this does have a similar position of quality; I can honestly say that this is one of the best goregrind releases in the history of the genre.  You can criticize it for supposedly being mindless, or overproduced, or shocking for shock’s sake, or any number of other things, but the fact stands that it’s remarkable, unique, and neck-snappingly heavy music by a couple guys who definitely know what the fuck they’re doing.  The fact that they’ve been disowned by a significant portion of goregrind fans as well as the general metal audience is PROOF that they’re doing something right.

It makes me happy that one of the best goregrind releases ever ISN’T something designed to appeal to non-fans.  Apart from in the dimension of production quality and instrumental ability (to a degree), this operates wholly within the realm of goregrind.  It’s not an ‘exception to the rule’ thing like Wormed or Lykathea Aflame; it just takes the elements of the genre and does something amazing with them without being apologetic or overtly accessible.  Overt accessibility isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a release is that much better when it’s able to communicate its ideas in a way that’s wide-reaching but still not intentionally open.  No matter how good the intentions are, something is nearly always lost in the translation when a piece of outsider art is made palatable for public consumption, and it’s a great thing that XXX Maniak on this EP has done everything possible to STOP the continued co-opting of goregrind by the more mainstream metal crowd.

Where to begin… I guess at the most central point of what makes this such a great release: it feels as goregrind should.  In the same way that Catasexual Urge Motivation and Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis do it (though those artists mechanically display it in completely different ways), XXX Maniak sounds like goregrind should.  In a nutshell: evil, transgressive, and horrifying.  This is not party-grind, funny cyber stuff like SMES, or mindless gore.  It has what the majority of goregrind seems to have forgotten is a crucial part to the genre: a true aura of negativity and darkness.  If Catasexual Urge Motivation was the depraved, philosophizing serial rape-murderer, and Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis was a sadistic sort of mad scientist, XXX Maniak represents the total breakdown of basic human values and social mores in the form of a spree killer.  Eventually you get past the ridiculousness of the song titles and the image and you get what they’re about: not being funny or merely shocking, but sort of displaying the full pantheon of human evil, which sometimes takes bizarre and seemingly illogical and ridiculous forms.

If you take the grinding industrial drum machine of Catasexual Urge Motivation and remove the sensuous groove, the simplest tremolo riffs of brutal death metal and remove the restraint and even-handedness, and the demented high-low vocals of porngrind and remove the good spirit and sense of fun, you have a basic idea of the sound of XXX Maniak.  An explosively loud and surprisingly well programmed drum machine delivers inhumanly fast blast beats along with slightly more sensible modified punk and death metal beats amidst sudden rushes of cymbal and bass drum fills while equally loud and clear guitars play a mixture of the ultra-quick chord changes of Cock And Ball Torture, almost thrashy and surprisingly melodic tremolo riffs, and deliberate, menacing chugs, like a smarter ‘Chainsaw Dismemberment’-era Mortician.  Vocally, there’s a low, grunting growl that’s mostly used for background effect while the priority is given to a dazzling array of uniformly throat-searing screeches, ranging from a gurgling Catasexual Urge Motivation variant to a distortion-laced, ripping, tormented scream.  Lyrics seem to be sporadically used; some are clearly just random screeching.

XXX Maniak uses the semi-traditional pattern of sub-thirty second microsongs to incredible effect, with each being a simple but incredibly refined idea, as well as being stunningly unique, with distinctive riff patterns and song ‘structures’.  Aesthetic and music are very unified: you remember tracks by how the music reflects the song title, with samples as crucial to the overall experience as blast beats and yammering, demented vocals.  XXX Maniak deliberately throws curveballs in the litanies of antisocial decadence with strange, provocative song titles like ‘Lost Inside Yourself’, The City And The World’, and ‘Sunrise Is A Lie’.  In general, it’s an intentionally confusing release that may or may not have more to it than just what’s one the surface, and I lean towards the former interpretation: the music and aesthetic seems too carefully constructed to be entirely meaningless, whether the musician’s notice it or not.  How else can you explain such carefully employed samples (most of which I think were made by the guys themselves)?

Really, it all comes down to the feeling of real evil and sickness I get off this music, and just how specific that feeling is.  It’s not the predatory, revoltingly alien feel I get from Catasexual Urge Motivation, or the manic, joyous gore of Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis, but more the feeling of tension and release, like someone finally obeying the sinister impulse to kill.  There’s just so much hatred and evil and loathing on this disc that it feels hard to contain on plastic.  It’s the sort of sick and vile thing you expect to find on a reel of eight millimeter film somewhere in east Germany.  It’s ugly, absurd, hateful, disgusting, evil, sinister, menacing, and possessing an odd intelligence and grandeur; in short, it’s everything that goregrind should be.

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~ by noktorn on May 21, 2008.

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