originally written by Jim Brandon
You have to appreciate a band that gives their fans a little something extra to enjoy. The County Medical Examiners were generous enough to imprint certain copies of Olidous Operettas with the close-to-authentic reek of decaying human flesh that is released by lightly scratching the picture of the fly on the CD itself. As a marketing ploy, I’d say it’s pretty hit or miss, for the odor is truly quite vile, and the smell wouldn’t leave my nose for almost an hour after my first (mistakenly) big whiff. While making no advancements in the genre since Forensic Fugues And Medicolegal Medleys, doctors Morton Fairbanks (guitar/ v.), Guy Radcliffe (bass/ v.), and Jack Putnam (drums/ v.) churn out eight glorious examples of classically grooving, fuzzed-out, blast riddled grindcore, and still manage to put their own individual spin onto this familiar style.
From a musical standpoint, these three very unassuming, proper looking gentlemen pretty much nailed the formula as tightly as Impaled, Aborted or Exhumed over the past few years. There’s most definitely an old-school edge to the majority of the material, with a few death metal touches (think Incantation’s faster The Infernal Storm moments) strewn throughout to break things up. Without a doubt, the production suits the music perfectly with a sickeningly warm, full guitar sound that is firmly supported by an airtight rhythm section even during the fastest passages. Although they never shift into ridiculously high speeds, when the Examiners begin revving up the tempo to a humming wall of erosive tremolo, they exhibit considerable restraint and attention to detail so things don’t turn into a blurry, muddy mess.
Even though this semi-conceptual album is dedicated to Carcass (there is some form of the word used in each of the eight tracks, I checked), the music isn’t derivative to the point of frustrating distraction. Dehydrated vocals grunt and snarl with great clarity through such rabid tunes as “Blunt Force Flight”, and “Morgagnic Anatomics”, while the groove-laden “Casper’s Dictum”, and “Expeditious Evisceratory Mishap” provide much to just kick back and bang your head to. Curiously enough, the vast bulk of the album is tenaciously catchy for being so unyielding and steadfast in nature, almost verging on being too accessible and easy to listen to for such a depraved style of metal.
Nothing blew me away overall in the end, but I consider the trip to MetalHaven to be well worth it, and The County Medical Examiners have a lot to offer during this flesh eating half-hour of incredibly competent Jeff Walker idolization. It stands strong on its own with an updated, potent blend of infectious balls-out grind, the most intense visuals you’ll find outside of an actual plastination gallery, and of course, that rotting stench of death that just keeps on giving. Olidous Operettas is an absolute ‘must have’ for enthusiasts who appreciate the essence of gore grind, from a band who could be even more notable if they decided to step out from behind the shadow of Carcass.