Friday, July 17, 2009

Bone Gnawer - Feast of Flesh (Pulverised, 2009)

If there were a Top 40 station that played death metal exclusively, Bone Gnawer would have at least five tracks in heavy (pun very much intended) rotation from its debut, Feast of Flesh. That's not a slag against the album. Bone Gnawer have figured out how to apply pop formulae to death metal. Their elemental death riffs are simple and repeat a lot. As a lyrical cliché, the gore and cannibalism themes fetishized on Feast of Flesh are way more fun (if a little less universal) than the Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift's booty-shaking and puppy love. Yet they serve an identical function. Vocalist Kam Lee (Massacre/Death) gargles his cartoonish lyrics with fantastic elocution. He wants you not to feel what he feels, but to grunt along on "Cannibal Cook-Out," a tender-hearted (i.e. still a little pink in the center) ode to eating one's neighbor as you would one's self. 

"Cannibal Cook-Out"

"Hatchet Face"

Bone Gnawer is one of hundreds of bands making anachronistic, bloodsoaked DM these days. In this post-"Entrails Ripped from a Virgin's Cunt" death metal moment, well-crafted Grave riffs and paeans to man-eating sound tame, nostalgic. Bone Gnawer have some of Sweden's best-connected musicians in bassist Rogga Johansson (Paganizer/Demiurg/Deranged), drummer Morgan Lie (Naglfar) and guitarist Ronnie Björnstrom (Ribspreader). But Bloodbath this ain't. Another analogue to Top 40 pop: Feast of Flesh is fun, but ultra-disposable. 

Amazon (pre-order)

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