Released: 2014, Willowtip Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
You get pretty much what you’d expect on an album titled From Crotch To Crown by a band called Prostitute Disfigurement – death metal grotesquerie and lots of it. Boasting such delectably titled tunes as “Crowned In Entrails,” “Reduced To Stumps,” the title track, “Compulsive Beheading Disorder” and the unrepentantly un-P.C. “Dismember The Transgender,” Crotch is a symphony of sickness if there ever was one.
The first album since the Dutch deviants reformed in 2010 after a several-year hiatus, and fifth overall, Crotch is perhaps more graphic and over-the-top than anything the band have done in more than a decade, certainly back to 2003's Deeds of Derangement. From the splatter film cover art and aforementioned song titles to vocalist Niels Adams' lovingly descriptive and vile lyrics - which on “Under the Patio” or “Crowned In Entrails” rival just about anything Chris Barnes dreamed up for Cannibal Corpse back in the day - Crotch is gleefully, luridly in your face from the get-go.
At times, as on the title track, things get too ridiculously extreme for their own good, and might leave you wondering what the fuck is wrong with Adams. But if torture-porn cheap thrills are your thing, Crotch delivers them in ample messy heaps.
The tech-death soundtrack that accompanies it is just as violent and vicious, but also deftly played and at times somewhat sophisticated. The band’s sound here is a sort of Human Centipede melding of recent Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation, though without being too obvious. It's complex but often clever, and, of course, relentlessly brutal.
New guitarists Martjin Moes and Mike Ferguson seem to have lit a fire under the asses of longtime bassist Patrick Oosterveen and drummer Michiel van der Plicht. Their hack-and-slash, spiraling riffs and fiery solos, which are especially impressive on the back-to-back gems “Glorify Through Cyanide” and “Set Forth To Annihilate,” demand more tempestuous rhythms, and Oosterveen and van der Plicht seem only too happy to oblige.
So Crotch ends up being something of a step forward and a step back for Prostitute Disfigurement at the same time. On one hand it's tawdry and juvenile, on the other it's impressively performed and undeniably punishing – and if you can deal with the one, the other is certainly worth it.