BLOOD ERECTION, Unceasing Bleeding  (2011, Casket Music)

The skull:
This band is named after a curious medical condition usually suffered only by sexual psychopaths, in which the sight of enormous amounts of blood produces an extraordinarily stiff and long-lasting erection. In the picture on the cover of Unceasing Bleeding, we see one particularly extreme case of blood erection, wherein the entire body became engorged, eventually stiffened then swelled until it all exploded in one ungodly, sanguine mess. We see only the skull here, underneath the pathologist’s plastic, as there was nothing left to salvage of the erection itself, or the rest of the body for that matter.

The music:
Unfortunately, the music of Greece’s Blood Erection isn’t even close to conjuring the gloriously gory imagery the band name and album cover have led us to firmly believe in. We get that they believe their music totally depicts such insanity, but you’d have to be a gullible metal novice to buy into this stuff. At best, Blood Erection sounds like an adequate knock-off of one of the more forgettable Cannibal Corpse albums. If words like “adequate,” “knock-off” and “forgettable Cannibal Corpse albums” describe the kind of death metal that makes you so hard your pecker could burst, this is your favorite new band! The rest of you move along…nothing to see, or hear, here.
— Friar Wagner


SPIRITUAL HOLOCAUST, Salute the Death (2010, demo)

The skull:
The best kind of skull for a Big Dumb Skull cover, of course, is a physical object, photographed for the occasion, and Spiritual Holocaust have delivered at least that, it must be said. But, The Council and we Friars would prefer that at least some effort were put into disguising the white plastic skull you bought at the Halloween store as something that might have once encased an actual human brain. Spiritual Holocaust seems to even recognize the lameness of their skull, as their members have been here caught on film in the middle of a pathetic game of hot potato, one guy trying to pass off the shoddy dimestore replica skull on his fellow. There is no escaping this shame, though.

The music:
Mid-paced Finnish death metal. Not melodic, but not totally assonant, either. Being Finnish, and of recent vintage, Spiritual Holocaust are totally capable, and no one can impugn their skill as players, but their late-to-the-party Swedish-style death metal is as artlessly made as it is professionally produced. If you’re a die-hard for this sort of thing, or if you’re in the market for a farm-league Demigod, then you might add these guys to your collection without a second thought, but it’s highly unlikely they’d get a second listen. You’d spin Salute the Death (or, more likely, their lone full length album) once, think, “That was pretty good,” and then forget about them almost forever, until one of the guitarists ends up in a slightly better band, and you notice a mention of Spiritual Holocaust in their bio, and you absently think to yourself, “I think I have one of their discs…” before drifting to another, even less interesting thought. In fact, I just had to double-check who I was writing about in the first place. Potent mediocrity!
— Friar Johnsen