Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Here we are. It's the last few weeks of 2021. Now is the time to ponder back on the past 11 months. This year has been insanely stacked with great releases, sometimes being overwhelming. The genre I feel with the most eyes this year was death metal. We had the debut albums from Frozen Soul and Sanguisugabogg, the second slab of brutality from Cerebral Rot, and the latest opus from Worm. But we're not done yet, because we have the debut album from 200 Stab Wounds. Just based off of one demo called Piles of Festering Decomposition, these Ohio death merchants already cemented themselves in the death metal-sphere. But do they keep the momentum on Slave to the Scalpel?
The answer is a resounding and boisterous...YES! Everything about the demo is amped up on their debut album. It's more technical, more grotesque, and more slamming. I mean it guys, the breakdowns on this album are ignorant. They are just so stupidly heavy, and have a nice 2-step to them. Take a song like "Stifling Stew" with its really unique interplay between the bass and drums for the disgusting breakdown. And there are also some straight assbeater songs, "Paths of Carnage" in particular. That song is 2 minutes of just being ruthlessly punched in the face. It's merciless.
My favorite two songs on the album are "Skin Milk' and "Tow Rope Around the Throat." I just feel like they are really adventurous songs. There's so many quick changes, but without being distracting because each moment just gets better. "Tow Rope..." has my favorite moment on the entire album at the 2:17 mark, it features an absolutely slimey and filthy breakdown that's more ignorant than it should be. I mean it's some literal unhinged barbarian chugging, it's just stupidly gross.
I feel something that helps give this album such a devastating effect is the production also. This is the perfect production on the album. The guitars are so crunchy, the snare on the album cuts through so cleanly, the bass tone is slimy and perfectly placed in the mix. Major shoutout to Andy Nelson for the stellar mix.
This may come as a bold statement, but 200 Stab Wounds are a part of the Mount Rushmore of death metal, along with Frozen Soul, Sanguisugabogg, Cerebral Rot, and Fetid. I say this because, while they are a tried-and-true death metal band, I feel they are a band that appeals to hardcore fans as well. They've proven it by playing shows with bands like Year of the Knife and Dying Wish, just to name a few. Piles of Festering Decomposition was the beginning, but Slave to the Scalpel is the cementing of the legacy. It makes me really excited to see where they go next, because there's only HUGE things ahead for them. Congratulations guys, I'm really proud of you.
200 Stab Wounds - Slave to the Scalpel was released Nov. 12th, 2021 via Maggot Stomp
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasant.