The name Bodyfarm first appeared on my radar with last year’s ‘Malevolence’ debut. As I still haven’t heard that one in its entirety, ‘The Coming Scourge’ popped up as an interesting opportunity to get to know the band a lot better. With a name like theirs, naturally the style on offer is death metal; the Dutch four-piece spreading their disease since 2009.
The first thing to mention is the Swedish tone to the guitars – you know, the type that oozes reverberation as the chords die down. Added to this are chunky rhythms, driving riffs and a bit of a punky vibe. The vocals of Thomas Wouters do however add a distinctly un-Scandinavian flavour but the most remarkable aspect of the opener is that change of tack at the end which introduces slicing riffs and harmony work. After sawing away at the listener’s head, ‘Frontline Massacre’ similarly diverts to something brief and masterful, as too does ‘Vortex of Terror’ when the beat picks up. So, very much a theme of the early part of the album is Bodyfarm injecting impetus to compositions which you don’t see coming. Another notable mention also goes to the vocalist’s ‘rurs’, ‘rars’ and ‘Gos!’, which bleed awesomeness – as made abundantly clear in ‘The Coming Scourge’ itself.
As we get to the midpoint of the album, some subtler tones mix into the band’s forceful brew. The title track closes with some wafting melodies and pleasant leads, while brief acoustic interlude ‘Eden’s Destruction’ comes across like an excerpt from ATG’s ‘Terminal Spirit Disease’. The impact between this one and the start of ‘The Well of Decay’ is another great touch, as the band bombs back with full force. Elsewhere, ‘Der Landkreuzer’ (a tale of Krupp’s abandoned thousand-ton tank) brings in guest Stephan Gebédi from Thanatos/Hail Of Bullets to provide a few backing roars. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the influence of his war-mongering project rears its head in ‘The Siege of the Mind’, with a HOB-style solo and epic end section penetrating the blatant Grave overtones. Perhaps more surprising, is the musically faithful rendition of Bathory which closes the record in style.
All in all then, there’s some cool stuff to be found within ‘The Coming Scourge’. It’s most certainly a solid album, and one which I’m sure will appeal to fans of classic death the world over. While it may not match the classics referenced throughout, it does provide 38 minutes of quality pounding metal.