Album Title: 
Condemned To Grovel
Release Date: 
Friday, August 29, 2014
Review Type: 

I hadn’t heard of this band before, but apparently these four guys from West Yorkshire (U.K.) hadn’t released but one single ep, The Extent Of Human Error (late Autumn 2012). Then the band recorded some new songs, which were send out to e.g. Ukem Records. Label manager Chris Newby listened to it and he was convinced as from the very first listen. Logical result: he was prepared to have this material released on his label.

That material, which is compiled as Condemned To Grovel, was recorded with renowned producer Chris Fielding at the majestic Skyhammer Studio (think Winterfylleth, Napalm Death, Coltsblood, Conan, Cerebral Bore etc.). And it shows. The production is greasy and ugly, lovely incorrect and well-balanced. Indeed, such a rough, fat sound isn’t but a surplus to lift this material up above the usual standards.

When it comes to the ‘songs’, well, I was misled after the intro. Condemned To Grovel (duration: about nineteen minutes) starts with Prologue To Prolapse, which is a very slow and sludgy brain-smasher with an ultra-heavy rhythm section, droning leads and eerie grunts. The atmosphere is coal-black… But then comes Forced Fornication, and hey, isn’t that some kind of tribute to Cannibal Corpse? No more Sludge, yet rather grooving Death Metal is what we get. This track, and this goes as well for the other ones (Vomit Every Dreg, A Peeling Flesh, and Foetid Existence), brings a very nasty form of Death Metal with an American-schooled attitude, and injected by elements from Tech-Death (without the progressive elements) and UK-Grindcore. The tempo comes with a great variety. The focus lies on fast melodies with several grinding blasts and unstoppable rhythms, but more than once everything slows down completely, yet without losing its initial brutality.

The craftsmanship is huge, and the compositions are convincing and persuasive. However, there is not one moment that I hear, or feel, something that might define Masochist’s own identity. …as if we heard everything before, somewhere, sometime… It tempers my enthusiasm, but still the final result is impressive.