Ogre – Bastards of Death (S/R)

These Irish Death metal scamps have been on hiatus since 1998 and have crashed back into an overpopulated DM scene with this concept album about bastard machines of death.

Forthron the Evil , John De Baptiste and Chewed Giblet have all three tongues thrust violently into their cheeks with tracks such as Vadge of the Ogre and Hunchbacks Dogs, Priests and Whores . “Insane decapitation by the supreme Corpse Disposal Machine “ sounds like a title that even Lawnmower Death may have baulked at!

However the music is no joke. These blokes can play. Surging between Deicide/Cannibal Corpse brutality and slower more Doom death passages there is plenty to keep the modern camo shorts wearing metal-head happy.

Opener “Murdered by Millions” offers up some groove with the crash bang wallop and is all the better for it and this continues into “Robot Bastard” .

For me, the links in the form of news broadcasts and public warnings etc get in the way of the album and stop the wall of noise from crushing my eardrums as I want it to. It seems clunky and patch-worked in and does not do the music justice. No matter that is what skip is for. The concept is obviously something that is close to the hearts of Ogre but Seventh Son this ain’t. Stick to the blasts and bouncing boys!

“Mangled Bodies of the Children” is a glorious mishmash of sludgy grind death and the change of pace suits the dual vocals (death grunt/ BM rasp) of Forthron and Chewed Giblet.  For me this is the standout track on the album. “Brain Killer” with deliciously juvenile lyrics sounding like they are from the mind of Abel Ferrara brings the speed again and the impact is all the more forceful after the previous change of pace.  “Pig Wizard “ continues in (cripes) DM way before “Vadge of the Ogre” brings the slow grind back in for a visit and wades through the carnage.  This track even offers a spiralling solo with hints of early Slayer in it. At almost 9 mins long this track is like a mini album in its own right so plentiful are the time changes and the gear shifts. Seeing as their last release was 20 years ago they have had a long time to gain influences and soak up vibes from the metal stratosphere – and then vomit them out in technicolour glory.

The use of choral passages on “Insane Decapitation by the Supreme Corpse Disposal Machine” is a nice touch. This and the pacing of the track lends it the air of Bolt thrower as well as a Celtic lilt.

Ogre have launched themselves back into the extreme metal fray with a tight barrage of songs mixing many elements of all your fave genres wrapped up in in one package. Shame about the links!

(6.5/10 Matt Mason)