Released: 2009, Permeated Records
Oh wow, my eardrums literally hurt. It’ll take a couple of days of hard listening to ABBA and Mariah Carey to wash out the absolute filth that’s caked up in there courtesy of British brutal death metal band Embryonic Depravity. The Londoners started in 2006 as Odium Incarnate, and after a name change and a well-received split with Japanese band Gorevent, they were signed to the Italian extreme metal label Permeated Records. They recorded their debut album CONSTRAINED BY THE MISCARRIAGE OF CONQUEST in early 2009 which was released in late 2009.
It’s funny when you think about it: although Napalm Death and Carcass were a direct and major influence on the sound, aesthetic and spread of death metal in local scenes all over the world, that you’d be hard pressed to think of any high profile English death metal bands since these two grind masters that have matched the success or recognition of the New York, Florida, Swedish or Finnish scenes. Bolt Thrower is the obvious and immediate example, Benediction another, but English death metal bands in general seemed unable to shake off their formidable grind and hardcore punk heritage: Anaal Nathrakh, Gorerotted/The Rotted, possibly Akercocke at a stretch – and by no means are these bands household names. That being said, in the past decade and a half, there have been some decent English death metal bands doing the rounds: Detrimentum, Infestation, Dead Beyond Buried, Sarpanitum, Dam, Ted Maul, Annotations of an Autopsy, Infected Disarray, Ignominious Incarceration, Man Must Die (Scottish) and The Boy Will Drown.
Embryonic Depravity is the latest. They play unabashed brutal death metal with no pretence of subtlety, no ambitions of progressiveness, melody or anything else other than to see bloodshed and entrails in the moshpit. This is not music for the fainthearted, this is not music for the sensitive of heart and delicate of ears. This is the soundtrack to absolute mayhem in the live situation, and for no one else other than those who enter the battlefield. Death metal connoisseurs may appreciate the Dying Fetus influences on the drumming and riffing, and while it’s so clichéd nowadays to bring up Suffocation in a review, it’s absolutely necessary when about 70% of the band’s sound comes from Suffocation and Disgorge. Massive bass drops, leadenweight breakdowns, blasting and double kicking their way past your complaining eardrums; it’s not rocket science, boys and girls. I have to say though that the vocals go beyond ridiculous, with deathcore brees and burps so deep that you need a mineshaft to reach them. Devourment would be proud.
The album ticks along at a respectable pace for about 27 minutes, so the trip is really over before you know it. Nothing too memorable about anything the band does, but that’s because your head is going like a piston for anything to register in your memory. This isn’t an album to savour and enjoy in leisure, this is an album to headbang and start mindless fights to.