They may have departed this earth 15 years ago with second album Resickened way back in 2004 but Lord Gore have never rested in pieces and now they have returned from the dead! It would have been impossible to actually forget these USA Maniacs in the first place especially after they dropped debut album The Autophagus Orgy 2002 with that album cover. Look it up, displaying its Manga grotesquery would no doubt get you an instant social media ban these days. The sickening but delightful images contained suitably gruesome and hellish music within which was dirty, filthy gore grind that was as close to the bone as it gets. With members of the group in other cult acts such as Engorged, Blood Freak, Frightmare, Splatterhouse and many more the delights of their early Razorback released carnage was not music that could be ignored and indeed has been pulled out the CD racks and inflicted upon the unsuspecting many times over the years. I completely missed the fact they had recently released a limited demo tape work in tribute to the body horror of David Cronenberg but as soon as Scalpels For Blind Surgeons (what a great title) landed in my inbox I was all over it like a rash.
Things have naturally progressed through the years and my first impressions though suitably favourable made me note a few things. Firstly although still very much tongue in cheek, songs like the Cormonesque nightmare that is ‘Planet Of Forgotten Flesh’ show a band who are a bit more serious and better, tighter musicians than a decade and a half ago. Also although humour is still within the concept along with liberal doses of splatter there is nowhere near as much preponderance to sampling the films we all know and love. Indeed there are just a couple of very short sound-bytes here, blink and you will miss them. Some might say that with music like this listening to and identifying the film samples is half the fun but then again without them the music seems all the more serious and even downright nastier than before.
A gurgle and crawling Autopsy guitar line ushers as in as these 11 horror fuelled numbers take rotting shape and then things explode in a violent lurching pustule of diseased flesh. Vocalist Gurge spews, vomits and gurgles through his parts and the vocal display is inhuman and far from one dimensional as the music batters you, possesses your very soul and shits you out its anal tract. Lovers of the aforementioned bands along with the likes of Impaled, Blood Freak, Ghoul, General Surgery and the dearly departed gods of gore Necrophagia will be in their element here. Guitars grind away on numbers like the longest cut ‘The Deformer’ with the glee of a manic butcher given access to the operating theatre and a host of patient victims to vivisect. Lyrics maybe too damn maggoty to decipher but you get the idea and they ain’t going to be at all pleasant. The occasional solo comes through exuding a foul waft and things rumble away with the backbone of drums and bass being suitably crushing of the skull and any bones discarded from amidst the body parts. The touch of rancid doom is never far apart, you can grab a breath amidst the crushing B-Movie terror of it all and you best do so given the opportunity it could well be your last gasp.
Never really going down the modern route the old school listener does not need to worry about pig squeals and the likes on romps such as ‘Incubation Sickness’, which spreads fast and violently slamming the organs in the body for 6 along the way. Flies coat every grimy surface, we question exactly what a Daudiskegg and realise it is probably best not knowing, things crawl and slither and as a ‘Million Maggot March’ one can only think of the goodness of prime Italian splatter movies such as Fulci’s City Of The Living Dead and Argento’s Phenomena. It’s not an immediate album, surprisingly there is a lot of depth to it and it takes a while to fully get into the 42 minute album, once in the very guts of it though you’ll be flinging viscera about with abandon as certain bits stick out like a human jigsaw puzzle.
What’s left to say? Well naturally this is all in the worst possible taste and that’s just the way we like it baby. I’m sure I’m far from alone in missing the days when Razorback records was residing on the tower of flesh and sitting on its very throne and it’s great to see a band like Lord Gore back via newer label Everlasting Spew along with Birdflesh. Pick this up at your local butchers shop along with a pound of gristle, just be careful if you’re invited into the backroom to check out the special goods, you won’t be emerging with all your limbs intact.
(8/10 Pete Woods)