Among the better traditional death metal records to find release all year, Splatterhouse take the catchy-yet-complex style laid down on Carcass’ classic Necroticism platter, and actually does something with it. Although the disc peaks early (during the first three tracks, really), it also finds its voice fairly quickly, and given the generic nature of most modern death metal releases, that’s really saying something. The production is sterling, and the intensity is high””maintained throughout the remainder of the disc. Comparable to Ghoul or Impaled, stylistically, it manages to be considerably more technical than the former, and generally quicker on their feet than the latter. At times, the complexity of the song structures bog down the record’s momentum, as if the band were somehow also reaching for the Necrophagist crown; however, the band is clearly at its best when it tries to be catchy amid its guitar histrionics. Fortunately, any self-important wanking on the part of the band is offset by its morbidly giddy sense of humor. All in all, it is an impressive debut, recommended to fans of mid-period Carcass, Impaled, and death metal when it was fun.
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