Band name designed to shock? Check. Album title to let people know what the style of music is likely to be? Check. Old school artwork? Check and check again. Just in case the person looking at this in a store still wasn’t sure, the protagonist on the cover is wearing a Mortician t-shirt (and if you need to know who they are then you don’t know your death metal). There is also a cover song on the album, namely Cannibal Corpse’s “Staring Through The Eyes of the Dead”. Yup, it is death metal, played by some Italians who have been at the game for more than two decades. But, and most reviewers don’t seem able to look past this, this isn’t nearly as brutal as one might expect given all the signs. What we have is an incredibly tight band, locked in as one unit, playing complex and intertwined melodic leads.

Francesco Basthard (known as Southern Bastard in this band) sounds like he is going to vomit his lungs at any minute, and it is this vocal approach which probably makes most people think these guys are brutal, but to my poor blasted ears they are far more interesting than just heads down and lose the dandruff. This is intricate, complex and enthralling. In fact, it is one of the best death metal albums I have heard in the last 10 years. The name may be cheesy, the album title and artwork even more so, but at the heart of it all is a pretty amazing band. Definitely one for all metalheads.

Rating: 8/10


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