Reviewed: April 2012
Released: 2011, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
When you think of Spain, you think of many things: sun, sweltering heat, beautiful beaches, paella, F.C. Barcelona, Real Madrid. The one thing you don’t think of quite so readily in association with Spain is goregrind. Coming straight out of Madrid that’s exactly what Haemorrhage are however, starting out as a three-piece and now having changed through circumstance to a five-piece they are a band rapidly carving their own identity in the genre Carcass made so popular in the 80’s. The first incarnation started in 1990 and consisted of: Jose on bass and vocals; Luisma on guitars; and Emilio on drums. This line-up didn’t have the longest shelf life, Emilo left the band in 1991 and that could have well been the end of things. However musicians are made of stronger stuff, with tougher grit and a determination of steel if they’re ever destined to succeed, which Haemorrhage proved. Reforming as a duo this time, Luisma resuming guitar duties, while Jose showed some musical prowess by trading in his four-string for the drummers sticks. The pair both shared the vocal responsibility and went on to release the first E.P. under the Haemorrhage name. Shortly after Grotesque Embryopathology they gained two additional members, Lugubrious taking over vocals and Ramon picking up Jose’s old slot on the bass. With a more stable line-up on board, Haemorrhage sent out a promo tape to Morbid Records – resulting in a two album contract. Second guitarist Ana was then recruited before the release of debut album Emetic Cult. The tumultuous line up had finally settled, or so it seemed until the second of three founding members left the band behind. Jose departed the year following the release of Emetic… citing personal reasons, and a new drummer was found in Rojas. They went out to bring out five studio albums under Morbid records, before signing for Relapse and eventually releasing 2011’s Hospital Carnage.
With the 15 track long album totalling out at just over 35 minutes, it’s very much on the short side however it’s short and sweet. Opening track Open Heart Butchery is a litte over 3 minutes, making it one of the longest songs on the album. A great way to open the album up, it eases you into the record steadily and gives you a taste of what’s to come. Heavy, downtuned riffs with a Pantera/Machine Head-esque groove to it, a bouncy sound which will get you headbanging until the cows come home. As is the standard for most grindcore bands, it is totally devoid of clean vocals and instead every line is delivered with a guttural, vicious growl. Doctors of Malpractice is another stand out track, with enough squeals to make Dime himself proud, and some of the best, grooviest riffing on the album it also features bass interludes in the intermittent pauses in the guitars. From there on in, it pretty much continues at the same pace set on the rest of the album, which if you like it is great however there’s not much in there to surprise you, make it exciting. You know, it’s always good when a band throws a curveball at you, makes you think, breaking the album up and making it somewhat less predictable.
There are parts where it just sounds like a cut and paste of various other bands, moments where it sounds rather like Pantera, Cradle of Fith and Arch Enemy all mixed up into some metal cake, iced over with the occaisional tannoy announcement or vomiting sounds that could be taken off a keyboard. They might have their own identity from the other bands on the grindcore scene but that doesn’t mean this album sounds particularly original. The predictability of the album also detracts from it a lot too, taking an idea and running with it isn’t such a bad thing, but if done to this extent can make the album boring. The production on the album is good enough, it seems well mixed. Everything goes well, nothing drowns anything else. The parts all meshing together or cutting over each other nicely when it feels they should, but with today’s technology and recording techniques you would expect nothing else. A fairly good album based on its own merit, but would strongly recommend you only buy it if you’re already a fan of the band or genre.
Review by: Ollie Thomas
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