Friday, 5 August 2011

Morbid Atrophy - Grist 'N' Grind

Self Released 2011

1.Stout Pout 2.Story There? 3.A Porter Too 4.Extract Attack 5.Ownes On The Ale
6.Mash Tun 'Til It's Gone 7.Lagers For Lighties 8.Pillow Talk 9.Dry Hop 10.Yar Bru, Yar Bru
11.A Porter Too (Blench Mix) 12.Lagers For Lighties (Wifebeater Mix)
13.Story There? (Blench Mix)

Another one man band hailing from the UK, this time it’s Morbid Atrophy (Sacha Varwin the man behind this project). A Short sharp film clip intro starts things off, then it’s a filth ridden blast into opener ‘Stout Pout’. Although Sacha classes his music as grind, "with splashes of death metal and punk" there’s definitely an underlying element of horrible black metal. I was instantly reminded of dirty Finnish black metal, Archgoat and early Impaled Nazarene sprang to mind. Good reference points for when the songs are in ‘blast mode’, horrid scathing riffing supported by neandethal, brutal drumming.
This is very impressive for a one man band, for rather than relying on a drum machine, Sacha clatters away at the kit like a man possessed as he is primarily a drummer, having sat behind the kit for previous musical ventures. But he has also played guitar and been the voice for other bands, so to bring his talents in to a solo venture is a good move indeed. Song lengths are typically very short, averaging around the 1:00 minute mark, but any longer and I don’t think they would work as well as they currently do. Vocal style suits the music well, Sacha’s dirty, filth ridden higher pitched gargle complemented by some real ‘from the depths of hell’ guttural growls, used sparingly throughout, but to great effect. Tracks 2 – 10 are over in a whirlwind of filth, depravity and beer (song titles such as ‘Lagers For Lighties’ and ‘Dry Hop’ explain the reference to beer!).
The production is great, being dirty, heavy and very organic sounding. Track 11 ‘A Porter Too’ (bench mix) offers up a surprising change in proceedings, the track still retaining heavy guitars and tortured screaming vocals, but the drums have been replaced by a techno style drum machine. This gives the track an extreme dance / techno edge whilst retaining its metal extremity.  Last two tracks ‘Lagers For Lighties’ (Wifebeater Mix) and ‘Story There’ (Blench Mix) are the same, techno mixes of tracks already featured earlier on the cd. They also sound extreme, and although a surprising change, offer little to the disc, the ‘normal’ metal versions of the songs outclassing the mix versions hands down. The mixes may appeal to the more open minded extreme metallers out there, but failed to impress here. Three different tracks rather than three re-mixes might have been a better choice. Having said that it shows a willingness to experiment and to ‘not give a fuck what narrow-minded reviewers think of It’ ;) Thirteen tracks lasting 14 minutes – you get the idea. It’s raw, it’s dirty, it blasts, and it grinds…its 6.66% nasty blackened grind. Its genius! Well recommended
7.5 Out of 10

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