Death metal duo, Charlie Rogers (bass/vocals) and Adam Duffield (guitar), released their first demo in July 2020 and now have Ingested legend, Lyn Jeffs, behind the drumkit for their debut album. As you can tell by their band name and song titles, Deliberate Miscarriage are just as much influenced by Sikipedia as Suffocation, but are they another joke band like Anal C*nt or a serious player in the underground gore metal scene?
Look beyond the diabolical lyrical content of opener, ‘Splattered Toddlers’, and you’ll find a mature piece of death metal executed with technical precision. The Chuck Schuldiner guitar work in the interregnum between verse and chorus is as impressive as the grinding bass lines weaving their way through the fretboard. Here, Duffield’s labyrinthine scale patterns at the two-minute mark add a yellow-orange mucus to the blood splatter texture of the music, yet the darkened grey sonic fury reminds you that Deliberate Miscarriage prefer to dwell in the dungeon of Gilles De Rais. ‘Exhumed & Molested’ needs no elaboration on its lyrical themes, but the down-tuned groove at the beginning shows you can do more with less and still retain a modern edge using standard pentatonic riffing. You’d believe it if someone said ex-Morbid Angel frontman, David Vincent, were behind the microphone for this cold slab of sepulchral necrophilia.
As a trio, Deliberate Miscarriage will invite comparisons with Dying Fetus, and these have some merit to them. But Charlie Rogers’ vocals are far more animated and intelligible, like Corpsegrinder of Cannibal Corpse. You’ll have no trouble deciphering the guttural enunciation on ‘Intestines in the Mudguards’, but you might be more bewildered by the 1970s rock riffs at the beginning. Is it possible to blend Led Zeppelin with Deicide? The answer is yes. Likewise, ‘Fresh Abortion Smoothie’ starts like a modern version of Megadeth’s ‘Go to Hell’ and stays within a mid-tempo dirge of drop-tuned patterns to deliver its forceful assault. Clearly, the band resisted the urge to bludgeon the listener to death with a monotony of slam breakdowns and endless guitar chugs. You can even hear the post-thrash groove of Slayer’s God Hates Us All on ‘Sodium Laureth Sulfate Asphyxiation’ and ‘Masochistic Masturbation’.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of Mortuary Melodies is also the one thing holding it back. Deliberate Miscarriage demonstrate great consistency over the fourteen tracks and forty-one minutes of this LP, yet nothing stands out as extraordinary. You can pick out a unique observation for each cut – ‘Entrails Entwined’ is what Pantera would have sounded like if they moved into a death metal paradigm – but the listening experience becomes more of an exercise in identifying that one thing in each song that distinguishes it from the others. The best albums will talk to you rather than need your interrogation.
Deliberate Miscarriage will have little appeal beyond a niche platoon of the metal underground, but their music has its charms, and their debut album deserves a full hearing despite your strongest reservations about their lyrical content.
Release Date: 12/12/2021
Record Label: Self Released
Standout tracks: Splattered Toddlers, Exhumed & Molested, Entrails Entwined
Suggested Further Listening: Cannibal Corpse – Unimagined Violence (2021), Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme (2012), Aborted – The Necrotic Manifesto (2014)