Released: 2009, Ibex Moon Records
Avulsed is well known in death metal circles. The band has been kicking around since belching form from Spain in 1991. In that time they’ve released six full-length albums, two DVDs, and a slew of EPs and splits. Their latest album, NULLO (THE PLEASURE OF SELF-MUTILATION) was released in Europe last year, but I have the pleasure of reviewing the North American version of the album, which tacks on six bonus tracks, taking the album to over an hour of blood-splattered fun.
One of the quintessential gore-filled death metal bands, you basically know what you’re going to get from an Avulsed album – at least that’s what I thought. Having never heard the band’s music before, I was expecting Avulsed to be your average gore metal band that fills their album with indecipherable vocals and senseless blast beats, cheapening the work of Cannibal Corpse with every second of music. So I was pleasantly surprised by NULLO when I did get the expected el-grosso lyrics but delivered in a completely immersive and dare I say, catchy, package. Yes, Avulsed are a death metal band through and through, but their song-writing is an obvious step up from most of their brethren. This album is fast as hell with impeccable musicianship and understandable vocals from leader Dave Rotten. Everything else, from the riffs, to the solos, to the drumming is spot-on, taking NULLO over and above the competition.
While the album proper ends with “She’s Hot Tonight (In My Oven)”, there are still the aforementioned six bonus tracks to get through. “River Runs Red” and “Foetal Consolation” sounds like demo tracks. They’re both solid songs, but not quite as good as the rest of the album. I can’t really comment on the “re-dissection” of “Unconcious Pleasure” since I haven’t heard the original, but it is also a very solid song. As far as the covers go, “Mental Misery” is perfectly true to the Gorefest spirit of the original, while “Piranha” is a solid take on the Exodus classic. The less said about the interpretation of “I Wanna Be Somebody” the better. Still, that does little to diminish the awesome assault that is NULLO.