This filthy lot are the biggest misusers of porcine ichor since John Travolta ruined a certain young ladies High School prom over four decades ago. Their debut self-titled album released back in 2017 created a rank stench and a filthy listening experience merging old-school death metal with a suitable layer of crust. Band members have done time in plenty of other acts past and present such as Prezir, The Conqueror Worm and Abaddon and the Wisconsin reprobates gave the impression that they enjoy doing all sorts of nefarious activities in their spare time no less so than hanging around graveyards and digging up corpses like a certain other serial celebrity who haunted the area. So we come to the all important second album and the first thing I noted after the pig’s head on a sword adorning the album cover was the song titles. They are certainly on the descriptive side and each have a secondary title bracketed after them so if you like the sound of colourful ditties such as ‘Gates Ripped Open (Scum Choking Out the Meek)’ and ‘Maniacal Triumph’s Embrace (Narcotic Lust)’ you are definitely in the right place.
First play and impressions kind of went over my head due to the fact that the brutal pummelling this delivers is all grit, gristle & offal, well in essence it’s an exercise in brutality more than it is atmosphere, something I do have a bit of a problem as I enjoy some ambience whilst being beaten into submission. Still it’s short sharp and effective butchery stuck right up the joy trail as it booms in drums a thumping and romps off in feral fashion with both low growls and some higher grind style vocals. There’s no pun in saying that there is a meaty production job on this and at the right volume booming drums and scuzzy bass cut right through the ribcage. This is one of those albums that those who love a constant slap round the face during an album and plenty of winding and grinding riffs will take delight from. Others may find the lack of versatility at times a bit much as the group throw bolts right between the pigs eyes in their abattoir of sound, stunning them to the ground and then shocking them onto a production line of pork scratchings (as a vegetarian I am not beyond sickening myself).
There are times such as the low cavernous vocal performance that the likes of Cannibal Corpse are resurrected and spat out with seething hate very much at the forefront and this is definitely a move towards the brutal death stakes and a bit away from the crust punk style that pervaded more on the first album; certainly more in line with Desecration than Extreme Noise Terror. Occasionally though a cantankerous drumming line bursts into life and it is a bit of a relief getting a sudden flailing guitar solo giving things a bit more diversification finally in the fourth track.
There’s no screwing around here, songs are short and tightly constructed around the 3-4 minute mark with the whole album flying by in just over half an hour. There’s a pause to grab a hurried breath at the midway mark courtesy of ‘Bloodshed Hell (Interlude)’ doing just as suggested before the title track gutturally harrows and gnaws away like a wolf devouring a still beating ham-hock. Speaking of which this is definitely an album for full moon nights and lycanthropic madness, the vocals occasionally go full deranged and unhinged and this is definitely not an album for the sheep. A Flock Slaughtered is a very ugly listening experience and totally hits the mark as far as that side of things is concerned. If that sounds like a glorious feast to you be sure to step up to the table but don’t forget to wear a bib; things gonna get messy!
(7/10 Pete Woods)