MASOCHIST, The Extent of Human Error (2012, UKEM)

The skull:
I think I know what’s going on here. Try and stay with me on this. This guy was down in the Upper Big Branch Mine in Birchton, WV, when an explosion occurred (the same explosion depicted in Skull616). The flashlight on this unfortunate miner’s helmet fused to his recently de-fleshed skull in the wake of the explosion. The hand we see here does not belong to the skull, or at least, it’s not attached to a body any longer. There it hangs, grafted onto a bloodied rock slab. This is all very disturbing, and we Friars stand with the Council of the Elders of the Skull in stating that “Mining disasters are not funny, even if skull covers are often hilarious.” We admit being conflicted on how to feel about this one.

The music:
This EP is sooooo 1994. It’s got that post-peak vibe to it, that peculiar sound of decent, capable death metal bands who have learned their lessons well and bring a laudable vibe of death, doom and darkness to bear in their own brand of death metal while putting nothing forth that hasn’t come before. They go slightly weird for about three measures of “Crucify the Whore” with some jarring, industrial noises, and they give a nod to pig-grunt “rhee-rhee-rhee” vocal silliness on “Born Fucked,” but generally it’s straightforward grindy death. You can either consider this many, many, many years too late, or a throwback to that gray era of “what now?” just beyond death metal’s peak years (1988-1993). Either way it’s a no-win, making it difficult to endorse this band unless you treasure those mid ‘90s albums by Killing Addiction, Internal Bleeding and Desecration (UK) as the very acme of the death metal art.
— Friar Wagner

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