1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 32

Onset of Putrefaction, by Necrophagist
Suggested by Danny Nuttall

“Hmm… if I had to choose right now, I’d say ‘Dismembered Self-Immolation.’ NO! I’d go for ‘Fermented Offal Discharge.’”
“Sorry, but that’s wholly inappropriate for a First Dance. Your services as our wedding planner are no longer required.”

When you see an album called Onset of Putrefaction, by a band called Necrophagist… it gives you pause.

On this album, I’m told, I’ll find Death Metal at its very best. I’m a fan of the heavier things, so this should groove my heart in the best Deelite tradition. Shouldn’t it?

Well… no. Death Metal leaves me cold.

As an artform, I think it’s superbly peculiar. The technique is unquestionable, requiring supreme talent to shape such brutality and speed. My question is this: why? Practitioners of Death Metal are so accomplished instrumentally, yet they choose to make sounds like this?

At its core, I just can’t get past the vocals. I’m 100% convinced that the amphibious growls that accompany this niche are entirely self-referential. Singers in Death Metal bands choose to sing like Baron Silas Greenback burping through a tea cosy simply because other Death Metal bands sound like that too. This can’t be the best vocal sound for this firecracker gunshot music. It just can’t.

Everything feels So Damn Serious that it’s almost laughable, which is ironic. I’d hope that the whole scene is supremely self-aware, and everyone involved is Emperor’s New Clothes-ing the more staid and straight type of worthy muso, but that could just be my own prejudice leading to insulting the tastes of others.

One thing that was odd about Onset of Putrefaction… as I worked my way through it, I actually did start enjoying it. Or did I? Did I actually enjoy songs like Intestinal Incubation, like Extreme Unction? Or was it musical Stockholm Syndrome, feeling overwhelming sympathy and love toward my torturers?

Framing my choice entirely in what’s on offer, I’d give this album 4/10, with a full point of that as a nod to the talent involved. As for individual tracks, I appreciated both Mutilate the Stillborn and Fermented Offal Discharge. My standout, Advanced Corpse Tumor, raised a few smiles as I growled along to what passed as a chorus.

Overall, I think I appreciated the song names over the songs themselves. As such, I hereby declare I’ve gone soft in my old age, and I’ve handed my Heavy Metal Licence to the appropriate authorities.

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