Desecration - Forensix
Metal Age Productions
Death Metal
11 songs (29:26)
Release year: 2008
Desecration, Metal Age Productions
Reviewed by Goat

It must have been quite the shock to Welsh Death Metallers Desecration when their first album Gore And Perversion was seized by police and destroyed back in 1995 as an ‘obscene publication’. As much as the UK loved to envision itself as a world leader in the 90s, when it came to basic things like freedom of expression we were behind much of the western world (ask the rave scene what they thought of the Major government of the time, let alone the treatment Swedish veterans Dismember received...) and it’s only by the determination of the band that Gore And Perversion was officially released in 2003, re-recorded since the original master tapes were destroyed.

Thirteen years after that infamous police action, Desecration are still going strong, although you wouldn’t think so from the lack of respect they get from the Death Metal world in general. Despite frequent tours supporting big names most of the gory underground has yet to hear the band, which is shocking in some ways, especially given guitarist/vocalist (also of Extreme Noise Terror, along with drummer Mic) Ollie’s day job as a mortician. You’d think that cutting up corpses would direct one naturally to an underground career in Death Metal, but Ollie has never been comfortable equating the two, and given the power and rabidity of the tabloid press in this country, you can hardly blame him. Those of us in the underground that enjoy Death Metal with questionable lyrics have been lucky to escape mainstream attention, frankly.

Still, with music as good as this being released, who can blame us for sticking to our guns, axes, knives, etc? Desecration’s seventh full-length may not be as instantly catchy and enjoyable as 2005’s Process Of Decay, a concept album literally about rotting corpses, but Forensix makes up for this loss in catchiness with a deep and enjoyable technicality. After a brief intro in The Committal, downtuned riffs and manic female laughter, Cremains kicks off in the finest of old-school styles, coming at you like early Deicide on drugs. You may well have heard this sort of music before, but rarely with such passion and love for, well, for death! The production is primitive, but it highlights the brutality, and enhances more fluid sections with a slightly Blackened tone.

Formaldehigh continues in much the same way, with more of that Blackened tone, and the album doesn’t make many diversions from there, really. This is pretty much Death Metal for Death Metal’s sake, and whilst it rarely hits the heights demanded of such music in today’s scene, it is a powerful slice of grunt n’blast, coming in at just under half an hour in length. There are plenty of catchy moments, the central riff of Silent Beneath Science just one example, and whilst it may never hit the creepy depths or majestic heights of Obituary or Morbid Angel, the songs are diverse enough to keep experienced Death Metalheads on the edge of their seats, and the new initiates interested.

What stops me from going on an all-out recommendation bombing run, as I like to do with the best artists, is that Desecration have little original to say. As enjoyable as Forensix is, it’s nowhere near as good as, say, the recent albums from The Monolith Deathcult or Origin; genuinely genre-bending efforts that advance the whole sorry mess. A new Desecration release is cause for celebration in many ways, but it’ll never truly shake the world until the band take steps towards becoming the Death Metal machine they’re capable of. ‘Always the bridesmaid, never the bride’, the saying goes; well, Desecration are doomed to be the opening act par excellence unless they shake it up a little. I think they’re happy in their own skins, however, and as such Forensix is a good, not great, album.

Killing Songs :
Overdose, Silent Beneath Science, Aim Fire Kill, Bonesaw
Goat quoted 70 / 100
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