Corpsing - The Stench Of Humanity
Grindethic Records
Progressive Brutal Death Metal
9 songs (45:46)
Release year: 2007
Corpsing, Grindethic Records
Reviewed by Goat
Album of the month

Since there are so many hopefuls at the moment that take New York Death Metal legend Suffocation’s formula and do very little with it, you’d expect bands to try and improve on it in some way. The sharpest, deadliest barb that anyone can sling at Brutal Death, after all, is that it’s all the same. Well, brewing away quietly in London for the past five years has been exactly what the genre needs, a refreshingly grimy slice of Brutal pie that isn’t afraid of experimenting with its sound, of looking at what’s old and rotten and cutting it out. That band is, of course, Corpsing, a stable part of the rapidly growing English Death Metal scene that includes other excellent bands like Akercocke, Dãm, and Ted Maul.

Corpsing’s 2005 debut Watching The Thinker was an awesome album, a professional exercise in brutality that was more than happy to mix in Doom and Black Metal influences to create a towering monolith of (wait for it) Post-Brutal Death Metal. Clearly, the follow-up was going to have to be special, and so it is, a new line-up keeping only the Cutispoto brothers (who haven’t been deported due to visa problems, thank you!) on guitars. From the start, you know this isn’t going to be your typical sort of grunt n’blast, as intro track Honour is a three-minute piece of acoustic flamenco guitar. That first song proper Infection Of Unknown Origin opens with what sounds like a sample from some 50’s sci-fi radio play, complete with strange echoing synthesizers and a sombre male announcer, only adds to the tension, which is released in a deluge when things finally kick off and the cavernous riffs start to expand. Rather than the usual chug, the guitars have a fuzzy, almost Black Metal tone to them that works atmospheric wonders, and with frequent time changes, an audible bass and a vocalist actually capable of changing his growling style, the song would be perfect as it is, even without the bone-crunching breakdown a minute and a half before the end that reintroduces the synths and brings the track to a close on an ominous note.

It’d be more than easy to do a track-by-track and explain exactly what it is about each song on the album that makes them all so damn good, as no two are alike. Flatliner’s unearthly groove, for example, rubs up against the Blackened maelstrom of The Furnace, which ends on an epic note before the technical battery of Complex Machine. Throughout, the band is never less than brutal, those recurring synths providing moments of cheerless melody in the overall dark torrent of sound, and if that sounds a little too pretentious for you then you needn’t worry; you’ll be banging your head like a motherfucker throughout.

Towards the end of the album the songs get even more progressive, with the title track and The Forgotten Deluge especially being enough to bring a tear to the face of any Tech-Death fan. Not that they’re aural whirlpools of Jazz-ridden noise that you won’t understand until you’ve heard them several hundred times, but they, like all the songs on The Stench Of Humanity, are varied enough to keep you listening without going too far and becoming unlistenable. Corpsing is rare in that it’s one of those bands that you really need to listen to many times to appreciate fully, but the first listen is as much fun as the tenth.

It’s interesting, listening to acoustic outro track Tears From Below - at over six minutes the longest song on offer – that Corpsing is as capable of softer music like this as it is the heavy stuff. It’s quite an exciting band to listen to, actually – this must be what it felt like for those hearing Symphonies Of Sickness or None So Vile when the albums first came out, that satisfying sense of knowing that the band you’ve followed have the skill and capabilities to become legends in the Metal world, and show every sign of living up to it...

As it is, we’ll probably have to wait a while now for Corpsing’s next album, but on evidence like this and Watching The Thinker it’ll be worth the wait. In the meantime, The Stench Of Humanity is easily one of the best releases of the year, and you’d be well advised to hunt down its predecessor. Support the underground, and the underground will repay with works of this quality, proving that people who say that British involvement with Metal hasn’t mattered for years really have no clue at all.

Killing Songs :
Goat quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Corpsing that we have reviewed:
Corpsing - Regnum (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
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