Saturday, March 9, 2013

Guttural Secrete - Nourishing The Spoil

I've seen people slamming the new release from these Nevada natives for its occasional use of melody and less "brutal" elements. I didn't think Reek Of Pubescent Despoilment was by any means an original album, and while it was alright, it hardly stood out in my memory as anything more than a fun diversion.

Nourishing The Spoil is a bit different. While the production is a bit flimsier and less bass heavy than its predecessor, the added melodic elements actually encourage me as a listener to go back and enjoy the album. They're not abundant, and they're not intrusive either. They pop up when the time is right to create a cathartic release of tension that builds naturally from all the chromatic silliness that brutal death metal tends to entail. It's a welcome addition to a sound that has, by over a decade ago, been played out.

Nourishing The Spoil does happen to have many predictable brutal death metal elements however. Pinch squealies, stupid samples, and plenty of time signature changes populate what would otherwise be a pretty run of the mill death metal album. Many of the early tracks on Nourishing The Spoil are forgettable for this reason, oft playing to stereotypes rather than to the interesting dynamics of the second half of the album. This isn't inherently a bad thing, but the weak mixing saps all brutality from them.

"Deadened Prior To Coitus" is Guttural Secrete's first real foray into new territory, and it is a successful one. Clean electric guitar parts lead into a typical brutal death metal section that builds to an quick, dissonant "1-2-3-1-2-1" chord progression. Despite being dissonant, the melodic element of playing chords makes these parts feel cathartic. This dynamic rears its deformed head again on the closer "Clotting The Vacant Stare," which is an album highlight for this reason. I don't know how I feel about the stupid synthesizer outro, but the rest of the track is great.

The use of (more than power) chords occasionally pops up on the more "brutal" tracks, but I wish it would show through even more. It's an idea that could use more development and puts Guttural Secrete in an precarious position as a brutal death metal band. If they could clean up the production a bit and expand on the melodic element I would be greatly interested in hearing their next release. It might alienate some longtime fans, but the subgenre is so saturated as is that I don't think it really matters.

6.75 out of 10

1. Inhaling Corpulency
2. Stainless Conception
3. Serrated Impurities
4. Nourishing The Spoil
5. Deadened Prior To Coitus
6. Coprophilic Asphyxia
7. Truncated In Detail
8. Voyeuristic Engagement
9. Clotting The Vacant Stare

Listen // Buy

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