ANATOMY, For Those Whose Eyes Are Black (1992, demo)
Staring at the MRI cross section on the screen, the doctor asks is residents, “Can anyone tell me what we’re looking at here.” “It’s big, sir.” “Yes, of course it’s big. What else?” “It appears to be dumb, as well.” “Yes, yes, we all know it’s dumb. Big and dumb: that’s obvious. What else?” The residents shift nervously, all of them withering under the doctor’s steely gaze. “Jesus, don’t they teach you kids anything anymore? This big dumb skull is also a cranky motherfucker with small teeth. Write this down, because I’m sure you’re going to see it again.”
Rough and tumble death metal that only aspires to the technical proficiency of Hellhammer. Sloppy, sludgy, cavernously reverberated, and thoroughly unimpressive, I would guess this stuff was nominally inspired by early Death and maybe some Scandinavian stuff, but at least in 1992, Anatomy were not up to the challenge. They continued to exist for at least another 10 years, and who knows if they got any better, but their early demos pretty squarely suck. But, just as I’ll buy pretty much any crappy thrash reissue, I’m sure there’s someone who just can’t get enough of this demo death junk, and maybe they should start scavenging the lowliest of Melbourne thrift stores looking for a copy of this.
— Friar Johnsen
SUPREME LORD / CHTON – Two Tales of Terror split (2003, Time Before Time)
Stark and bleak, this skull seems to be deteriorating into the black…it won’t be long before he’s dust. He looks forlorn, as if knowing his fate, made that much sadder because, although at one time he was a robust, strong specimen of a skull with great vigor and ambition, all he got was this gig on a split cassette pressed in a mere 333 copies. “I guess we can’t all be that Krokus skull,” he wearily laments.
We’ve already covered the music of Norwegian band Chton with Skull186, and their music remains pretty much the same on this cassette: both “Book of Black Earth” and “Crawling Chaos” were on that album, so there’s no need to go into it here, although I will say I enjoy their ultra-ugly old-school death metal sound, which works in an area of corrupted, unhealthy noise a la Rottrevore and some of the early Finnish death metal bands… but I’m not fully committed to them either. A passing listen is fine enough. Poland’s Supreme Lord are of the typically high musical standard as many other of their countrymen, but you’ll probably only get into them if you’re needing more Deicide-meets-Immolation-meets-Morbid Angel worship. Yep, Supreme Lord are patterned after early ’90s US death metal, although they’re just a couple levels rawer and noisier than the aforementioned. Something like “Dark Heresies” even blasts monomaniacally enough that it flirts with that whole slam-death bullshit, but never entirely sinks to that level. They almost gain back those lost points with the short but super-crazy noise-solo section of “Isolated.” Even if this was a somewhat enjoyable, interesting listen while it lasted, ultimately this is a totally non-mandatory, dispensable death metal split tape.
— Friar Wagner