I love shock in music, it’s probably one of the main draws for me and is reflected in my favourite artists as Alice Cooper takes a prime spot. Anything along the lines of Gwar, Lordi, Anal Cunt or even GG Allin is solid in my book. Over the top, outlandish and truly horrifying at times I’m always down for the sort of in your face approach that people see instantly. Take a non-Metalhead to a Gwar show for example, within a minute of the band coming on stage they’re sure to be blown away for better or for worse.
One band who are a little closer to home, London in fact are Basement Torture Killings. The band have been on the underground Death Metal/ Grind circuit in the UK for many years and their live shows are always packed with grisly delights. From teddy bear disembowelment to throwing surgical masks into the crowd (fitting at the moment) this band is sure to impress even if only through their on stage antics. Behind that however is the music, formed in 2007 the band wouldn’t issue their debut album The Second Cumming until 2011. Following this they went on to release a few more albums and garner more successful. Now we come to 2020 and Lessons In Murder, but will they teach us anything?
The light-hearted comical sample of Armchair Psycho opens up the album. Pure snuff laden Grind that’s full of fun, speed and hatred. Continuing our Lessons In Murder with another informative sample we enter Three Step the albums longest song which at points becomes vocally reminiscent of Carcass. An all out grind assault backed with notions of Death/ Goregrind to bring about an entertaining listen of the macabre. This track also brings the guitars to the forefront with some more interesting riffs. Erotophonophilia brings together all the elements of the band and special credits to the drumming on this album, the pace is unrelenting. However, there is an air of falsity, I mean this through the sort of fake ‘bad production’ at points, it feels very plastic in that sense.
Crossing into the second part of the album comes Psychoflage. Good riffs, good pace, punchy and decent. This is what Basement Torture Killings are all about, doubly so in a live setting. I would also note that by the time we reach The Pen we kind of become accustomed to BTK’s sound and it starts to all become a touch repetitive. I think it would have been better for the band to have gone all out Grind with short more punchy songs. None the less the album is still enjoyable. Finally comes The League Of Extraordinary Killers another pretty standard BTK track but none the less a solid gore drenched climax.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this band live numerous times and every time they bring it. Get a few beers and party whilst the bloody theatrics erupt in front of you, a sure-fire win. However, there are notions when it comes to an album experience that are less exciting. Of-course there is the mass of ‘bad production’ moments as mentioned but to add to this the tracks are too long and the samples aren’t used to full effect. Given the intro to the album and the whole Lessons In Murder title I feel like it would have been better for the band to continue in their ‘lessons’. It’s a small detail but none the less important I feel. That said I don’t want to put anyone off, this band deserve your support, my advice, get on down to a show.
(7/10 George Caley)