Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stomach Earth - Stomach Earth (2013)

Well, I have to say, after hearing 'Prolong the Death Watch' somewhere around a year ago, my 'worry radar' began working overtime. Of course I held out some semblance of hope that this was merely the "odd track" out of the bunch and that the majority of the album's material would be more along the lines of the two tracks posted for the past several years on the "band's" Myspace page, but, alas, that was all only to be wishful thinking on my part.

The pacing of this album is far too upbeat for me to consider this a true "funeral" album. Sure, the guitars are heavy and the sound/production itself isn't terribly far removed from that of the band's demo tracks, but, again, the pace of damn near every track on this album is just far too "snappy" for me to rank this alongside the likes of Evoken, Esoteric, Tyranny, etc...

The vocals are as vicious as they were on the 'Absorbed' and 'Final Horror' tracks, though it seems that less care was injected into the proceedings as much of the end result sounds a great deal more garbled and nonsensical in comparison to the absolutely commanding roar found on each of the 'Myspace' demo tracks. Obviously, the main reason for this is the overuse of effects, which, I've always been in favor of, as long as the end result was convincingly destructive. Here, however, each vocal utterance comes across like a constant flow of scrap metal being vomited forth from some gargantuan trash heap monster. Yeah, yeah, I know... that actually sounds kinda cool, at least in print, but believe me, I prefer the Lovecraftian command of old.

All in all, this isn't a bad album by any means, and should sate the needs of those who prefer their metal on the slower, heavier side, but unfortunately, after having my senses blown away by the dismal onslaught of ST's 'Myspace' demo tracks, so many years ago, this is more than a wee bit underwhelming. I guess the only reason I'm not completely let down here is the fact that after 30 years of listening to metal and experiencing my fair share of disappointments and letdowns, one could surmise that I've become a bit desensitized to it all.

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