Bodies Lay Broken – Eximinous Execration of Exiguous Exequies

I’m sure you can guess what kind of music this is based on the album title – trendy symphonic black metal. No, it’s basically Carcass worship through and through, even possessing a touch of that band’s academic humor. The liner notes resemble a Master’s thesis on Bodies Lay Broken and their relationship to the history of grindcore, with lines like:

Grindcore is precisely concerned with the bestowal of a phantasmagorical reality upon ‘the objective form of thing[s] outside the midbrain.’ To elevate and make more complex the signifying and narrative possibilities of grind, and yet also to arrive at a new artistic visuality that would transmit the heightened sensory experience of the flux of reality: these two seemingly contrary impulses perpetually inform and challenge one another in Body Lay Broken’s work,” etc.

Of course the humor is that when you put the disc in, it’s just plain ol’ grindcore. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Bodies Lay Broken are just having some fun with the fact that grindcore is what it is and nothing more. There is nothing really unexpected about what you hear here, other than perhaps the level of sincerity/quality to the music and the bludgeoning, sick guitar sound – you’ll get short songs, blast beats, bloodsoaked gurgling vocals, even a steaming, quivering smorgasbord of movie samples appearing before most of the tracks. Carcass is an obvious reference point with song titles like “Edacious Florid Vacciniform Prurigo” and “Ichorrhemia (Excernent Practalgic Excrescency Part 2,” but many other grind legends are referenced in the riffing as well, with Terrorizer, Pungent Stench and Impetigo comparisons springing to mind throughout the disc. There is even what seems to be a Pig Destroyer influence working its way into the mix, with precision harmonic infused riffs springing up quite often. The weak point here, as is often the case in bands of this nature, is the vocals. The pitch shifted/heavily effected vocals work well, as do the retching high register chokepukevox, but the more typical grunts (which sound a lot like the really deep vocals in short lived Relapse band Embalmer) are annoying in that each vowel sound sounds the same and there is little in the way of consonant sounds. The result is an irritating one dimensional distraction to the otherwise powerful sonic wreckage, a problem which also plagues Peaceville’s Akercocke. Unfortunately this vocal style seems to be used more than any of the others, and will probably limit my listening time. However, if you’re a fan of bands like this you should probably give this a listen, as the drumming is organic and crushing, the guitar sound huge, and the riffing tight and creative. A solid debut into the grind world from this Minneapolis trio – I just wish they’d drop that one vocal style. – Aaron J. Klamer


~ by martyworm on January 3, 2009.

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