Saturday, January 13, 2018

QUICK HITS: Succumb - Succumb

God help me I need disinfectant

Jesus.  For years, years, I've maintained that the filthiest death metal album of all time is Mental Funeral by Autopsy.  There are other albums that exceed it in weirdness or darkness or insanity (Nespithe, Onward to Golgotha, To the Depths, in Degradation, etc), but nothing could ever really touch just how grimy it was.  Well, I think that 25 year streak of dominance may have been broken with San Francisco's Succumb and their self titled debut.  Mental Funeral still sounds a bit more like a sewer than Succumb, but where the newcomers pull ahead is simply in unremitting dirt and agony.  You might be familiar with the manga author Junji Ito, who is most famous in the west for bizarre tales like Uzumaki and The Enigma of Amigara Fault.  He's not really a great storyteller but he is an amazing artist, and he has a short story by the name of simply Mold.  It's about a young man who rents his house out to a weird science teacher with an obsession with fungus, and upon returning from a business trip he finds the house abandoned and covered in mold that always grows back no matter how much he cleans, eventually unearthing the horrid truth behind the anomaly.  Succumb sounds like how Mold looks.  It's a dilapidated crackhouse, the walls literally alive with crawling filth, humidity only amplifying the creeping decay.  What makes it unique to me is how it manages to sound both hopeless and frantic at the same time, like a doomed man desperately clawing his way out of a drainage ditch while the flesh rots off of his body.  The vocals are very distant and slathered in reverb, rarely chaining more than two words together at a time, nearly always presented in an agonizing, ghoulish howl.  The riffs are dissonant and uncomfortable, and the drumming of the rising star Harry Cantwell (best known for Bosse-de-Nage and Slough Feg's kinda crappy post-2007 era) is a tumbling cacophony that never gives the listener room to breathe.  Not like anybody would want to breathe anyway, what with being in a heroin-drenched toilet bowl and all.  This is just grody, with a thick layer of goop somehow visible when listening.  There aren't many specific highlights to mention, as the album is just one long drawn out overdose, but it doesn't really matter when it sounds like literal death.  Again, refer to the final panel of MoldSuccumb is the sound of your atrophying semi-corpse fusing with its surroundings while you deliriously peel the flesh off from your own bones.

RATING - 91%


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