When you see Death Metal as humorous have you gone too far? The answer is probably yes, the prospect of slaughter, rape and cannibalism isn’t something one should joke about. But when it becomes an over-the-top barrage of insane ideas we edge closer to a sort of Black Comedy. This outlandish brutality is exactly the sort of thing that drew me to Brutal Death Metal, it’s so damn ridiculous that you simply cannot take the lyrical themes seriously, kind of like an entertaining good-bad Horror movie.
Keeping the laughter alive Italian Brutal Death Metallers Corpsefucking Art bring us the follow up to their 2014 album Quel Cimitero Accanto Alla Villa entitled Splatterphobia. No strangers to hilarity these gore hounds rose to underground fame with Splatter Deluxe in 2003 which was followed by the 2005 masterpiece War Of The Toilet Gear. Over the years I have found much enjoyment in Corpsefucking Art, they seem to embody the spirit of Brutal Death Metal completely, but how long can the laughter last?
Just a glance at the track-listing will show you that the band are up to their old tricks, Satanic Barbecue, Black Sheep Terror, Robocorpse II to name but a few. However is this style over substance? After the first couple of seemingly generic tracks we come to Black Sheep Terror which opens up with some far more inspired guitar work creating a genuinely memorable and entertaining track. Tomator equally brings a mood of memorable brutality with a dare I say catchy, anthemic edge. The bar therefore seems reasonably well set. Following a couple of average openers Corpsefucking Art reaffirm our allegiance with catchy track after track. So after the triplet of Nightmare City, Robocorpse II and Devoured By The Sauce giving us some catchy delight we are thrown to the later half of the album.
This end feels a tad muddled together, Beyond The Holy Grounds (Tomato Version) being a re-recorded song from the bands early days when they went by the name Enthralment. Whilst good and a bit of a change from the relentless barbarity it eats up the spot of a new and original track. Following this comes the once again decent but unnecessary cover of Staring Through The Eyes Of The Dead by Cannibal Corpse. Now I’ve talked about covers many a time and my feelings towards them aren’t pleasant, so once again a wasted slot for an original song. After all that comes Blood, Knife, Mirror, alas originality. An atypical Death Metal sound that edges on the brutal side lays the foundation for this memorable, slower paced, nigh on Slam fuelled ending. A perfect way to bring Splatterphobia to its end.
There really is only one way to describe this album, a rollercoaster. Ups and downs, twists and turns, from mediocrity into the epitome of catchy Death Metal to an old song and a cover Splatterphobia is, well a splatter. And by that I mean it’s a bit of a mess, it pains me to say such things about a band whom I have held in high regard for so many years, however I must. This album is by no means bad and the high points are really high, yet the low points drag it straight back down. My advice, enter the War Of The Toilet Gear and leave Splatterphobia for the existing fans.
(6/10 George Caley)