Macabre Mementos - 2010 - Japan
You know those rare bands that come out once in a blue moon with albums that just completely shatter your paradigm of what music can sound like? Oh come on, you know, the kind of band that just blows you away with how daringly visionary they are, and actually manage to achieve such quixotic ambitions? The kind of album that leaves you in disbelief of how mere mortals can harness sound to convey emotions so pure and powerful and how so many different genres can be combined into a single release and not sound like a sloppy mishmash of shit? Well let me tell you son, Gorevent are certainly not that band and Worship Paganism. Sorry if I led you on there.
No siree, Gorevent (possibly a reference to 90s Swedish death metal band Gorement) are not a band that is out to reinvent the wheel, nor do they give a rat’s ass about it (probably, I’m just guessing). Gorevent are the band that sits squarely on the dead fucking opposite end of the creative spectrum, aligned with the Cannibal Corpses, Dismembers, and Bolt Throwers of the world rather than Ulcerates, Portals, or Demilichs. If you listened to 2008’s Abnormal Exaggeration then you should know full well what to expect - brutal death metal of the knuckle-dragging, molasses-slow, slam-heavy sort.
So is it any good you ask? Well, the answer to that question largely hinges on whether you enjoy ultra-primitive slam. Abnormal Exaggeration had the formula down perfectly, with just the right mix of groove, atmosphere, speed, and slow repetitive bludgeoning. The songs weren’t likely to stay stuck in your head for too long, but Abnormal Exaggeration was a darn satisfying half-hour of slam. On Worship Paganism though, the “groove” and “speed” ingredients seem to be in dwindling supply, leaving us with too many moments where songs descend into mind-numbing chugfests.
Production is strong as ever, with enough low-end to blow up multiple subwoofers. Takashi’s guttural vocal spew is still disgusting (-ly good) and near-undecipherable, guitars and bass still rumble like Satan’s bowels after consuming one too many hapless humans, drums still ground and pound (snare has less attack to it than before sadly). This time around though, Gorevent seem to be suffering from a distinct lack of enthusiasm and energy. The opener title track begins way too slowly than openers should, and remains more or less the same, doing little to spark excitement or interest. . “Clubbing to Death” injects some much needed speed and groove. Third track “Heartless Massacre” follows suit, and even throws in some pinch-harmonics and squeals to spice things up.
When we reach “Dead” and Metamorphic Sadness”, the album takes a sudden nosedive into watching-paint-dry depths of boredom. Gorevent aim for slow, stomping impact but only manage to sound lethargic, offensively simple, and lazy. Gorevent slog through one three-chord chug-riff-over-double-bass after another, occasionally throwing in an even slower chug section or an uninspired grindy blast. None of it seems done out of some sense of contributing to overall structure or creating a flow; it’s all random and aimless. There are brief flickers of hope in these two songs, but they quickly revert back into mongoloid chugging within a matter of seconds.
Closing tracks “Human Demise” and “At the Time for a Killing” bring in some of the speed and groove that made Abnormal Exaggeration a killer work of slam. They maintain momentum and interest, and mostly manage to avoid the aforementioned songwriting pitfalls but there are still moments where Gorevent insist on dropping the pace and bashing out repetitive “slams”. “At the Time for a Killing” ends slowly and anticlimactically and “Human Demise” needlessly slows down mid-song to bang out a “heavy slam”. Still, these two songs aren’t too terrible, and along with “Clubbing to Death” and “Heartless Massacre” they redeem Worship Paganism – somewhat. Overall though, there are too many moments of sheer musical and creative retardation that cripple what could’ve been a pretty decent album. Even the best moments of this album still don’t quite achieve the quality songs off Abnormal Exaggeration like “Extinction” or “Endless Human Hunting” did. Worship Paganism isn’t a complete loss, but these guys can do much better. Shame.