British duo, Slob, started writing music in 2013 yet concealed their depraved art from the public for nine years. The album title should give you an indication of the perverted filth oozing through their debut record, but the death metal foundations are much more conventional. Slob take their cues from Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh and dribble their spunk in the centre of the slam scene with the alacrity of an unrestrained sexual deviant. The metal underground has an oversupply of brutal death metal (BDM) bands, but can the duo of Ross Honour and James Murphy (not the famous James Murphy from Obituary, Death, Cancer and Testament) stand out from the scum?
Those of you that know the film Deliverance must relive the horrendous male rape scene for the two minutes and eighteen seconds of the intro track. Good luck if you can get through this with a cursory rolling of the eyes rather than a clenched jaw. The term “squeal like a pig” took on a new meaning after this 1972 film, and you might be best concentrating on the loud pander of crickets in the background rather than focusing on the disturbing film dialogue. It’s almost a relief when we get to the technical death metal rhythms in track two, which goes by the name of… Yep, you guessed it – ‘Squeal Like a Pig’. The low guttural mouth inflections are unintelligible in their savagery, but the guitar tone is thick and brutish and enflamed with great precision once the duo lock in on their alt-picking techniques. Murphy and Honour avoid the trap of those BDM/slam guitarists who forget their sense of range and often end up glued to the bottom two strings of their instruments.
Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy enjoys some genuine moments of death metal urgency, not least in the title track. This one starts with extravagant whammy bar action and evolves into the mid-tempo dominance of Morbid Angel. It gives Murphy a chance to demonstrate his drum programming skills and beef up the snare sound with machine perfection. His vocals are less edifying – conjure an image of a man being asphyxiated with a pair of tights, and you’ll understand. Music like this will alienate 99.99 percent of the world’s population, but that’s the point. ‘Hogtied and Sodomized’ is just as violent in its Cannibal Corpse assault as it sounds on paper. You’ll appreciate the miasma of head-spinning riffs if this is your sole reason for listening to the niche sub-genre of BDM. Let’s be honest: why else are we here?
The inevitable malaise occurs towards the end of the record. Your attention span could be as low as forty percent engagement by the time they bludgeon you with ‘Wrong Turn’. Can you have an overdose of chugging metal riffs? It seems so, and the monotone grunt vocals do nothing to absorb your attention when you’re starting to tire of the guitar patterns. Djun-djun-djundjun-djun-djun-djundjun… Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Another horrific film sample might be preferable at this stage.
Slob take no prizes for advancing the cause of high art with their indulgence of degeneracy and deviancy in equal measure, but why would you want them to be anything other than repugnant? This is brutal death metal. The UK duo make it clear they’re not here to re-invent the torture rack. They demand a modicum of effort but not enough to enliven the listening experience beyond moderate enjoyment levels.
Release Date: 04/03/2022
Record Label: Comatose Music
Standout tracks: Squeal Like a Pig, Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy, Alligator Death Roll
Suggested Further Listening: Onchocerciasis Esophagogastroduodenoscopy – The Rotted Plinth of Sachiel (2021), Oncology – Omniversal Antigenesis (2020), Deliberate Miscarriage – Mortuary Melodies (2021)