[24th February 2014]
[Grindscene Records/Rising Nemesis Records]
01. Father’s Toy
02. Born Of A Cancerous Womb
04. Up To My Nuts In Guts
05. Hunted To Extinction
06. Grind, Tear And Slice
07. Austrian Basement
08. Menstrual Fryup
09. Torn From Gunt To Cunt
10. Tepid Decrepit
11. End Them
Yay, dead babies! You know, I get in trouble for saying that more often than you would expect.
Moving swiftly on, it has come to my attention that Edinburgian (with token Scouser) death metal act Cancerous Womb have finally decided to grace (or punish) us with a full length release. These guys have been a major part of the Scottish death metal scene since the mid-2000′s and have played countless shows from the tip top of the North to the arse end of the South. On more than one occasion, their presence has been met with chants of “WHERE’S YOUR ALBUM?”…well, here it is.
This band has a tendency to…idolise…controversial subjects when it comes to song lyrics and album covers – the band name alone should warn you of this; never mind the album cover or their t-shirt designs – and in find style, the album opens with “Father’s Toy,” which is a delightful track that could easily provide the soundtrack for a romantic evening in with an abusive family member of your choice. It gives perfect insight into the groove-laden death metal that these guys create. The riffs carry a degree of workmanship that is beyond the simple, formulaic death metal drones that plague a great number of the genres proponents, while the drums just straight up reduce your head to a pile of something resembling lumpy mashed potatoes.
This crushing groove doesn’t let up in the coming tracks. The album’s title track takes the theme and runs with it, to the rhythm of blastbeats faster than Michael J. Fox’s…hoverboard skills (Did you think I was going to make a Parkinson’s joke? Well, I didn’t. That was all on you. You should be ashamed of yourself).
Frontman Chris Lewis provides the gurgly-wurglies and screechie-weechies, and they can’t really be described in better terms than that. His lows are heavier than John Candy stapled to Dino Cazares’ nutsack, and his highs have the ability to split the ear drums of the weak. Listening to “Up To My Nuts In Guts” is actually a coming of age ritual for some feral tribes in Scotland, and I hear it has a mortality rate of 76%. True story.
The bass is vicious and borderline hazardous, and despite bassist Joe Mortimer’s ambition to be in every death metal band in the UK by 2015, he still manages to devote all of his energy to making these basslines much more than the bare minimum. The deep rumble builds the base onto which the rest of the riffs fit, and while it could be just a little louder in the mix, it does that job remarkably.
Now, this is the sort of album that will appeal mostly to die-hard death metal fans and those who like their music brutal, intense and relentless. It is not a gateway album into the genre – it will throw you right into the deepest, darkest recesses of the genre – and if you like hearing and understanding your lyrics, then perhaps this is not for you. But then again, why are you reading a death metal review if you like lyrics? What the fuck are lyrics?
Born Of A Cancerous Womb is a powerful release that deserves a lot of credit. It has groove, it has brutal heaviness, it has all the vices that death metal fans crave. The musicianship is top notch and the controversial themes certainly live up to the reputation of the sick bastards. However, it is not a very accessible album for those outside of the genre, and it doesn’t really bring anything truly “new” to the table. It is a death metal record through and through, with no bells attached – which works both for and against it, in this case. It is a very good release and will surely gather fans of the genre all across the UK and beyond, but if you are looking for anything more progressive or flamboyant, then look elsewhere.
“Grind, Tear & Slice,” the track they have chosen to advertise the album, should prove to get you adequately pumped for the album. Additionally, if you visit their Bandcamp page (linked below) then you can hear the older versions of the charming “V.I.Paedophile,” “Up to my Nuts in Guts” and “Austrian Basement“, which are available for free download as a part of the Austrian Basement EP.
Join them in their various sex dungeons: