This month, we’re doing something special for Death Metal Dossier, where Manny and Ryan attempt to shed some light on the moldy crypts of underground death metal. This month, we’re highlighting not one, but three short debut releases from three different underground bands in what we like to call Democember! Welcome to Part II of our series where we take a look at Shambling Corpse’s demo Intangible Blasphemies.
Ryan: Time to get a little weird. Victoria, British Columbia brings us Shambling Corpse, a three piece outfit of terrifying, fear-drenched death metal horror. When “Valley Of Defilement” breaks out, the ears are met with an odd, yet fascinating drum production, with a snare wound tighter than the tension on the body of a torture rack victim. The frantic playing seems to almost be jumping ahead of the guitars, yet when the tempo drops back they lock right in. The dings of the ride cymbal (especially on “Rituals Of Isolation”) rattle like the chains binding an ancient, otherworldly nightmare as it approaches its prey. Intangible Blasphemies is littered with other little oddities, touches of dissonance reveal themselves amongst the guitar chords like flickers in the fabric of reality. The alternating vocals keep the listener off-guard with the guttural, evil lows binding with the blood-curdling shrieks. For those who like their death metal on the stranger side of horror, Shambling Corpse is very well a band to keep an ear out for.
Manny: Finally Ryan decides we can actually leave America. (I was beginning to think he might be a tiny bit xenophobic.) As Ryan and I drive north to British Columbia and the ocean vistas give way to coniferous forests a gentle mist hangs just below the mountain peaks in the distance. Ryan, always the gentleman, asks if I need another bottle of water. I do. He lovingly opens the bottle and replaces the empty in the center console. (I’m driving because Ryan lost his license in a series of DUIs back in the 1960s.) He notices that I’m looking sleepy yet we have hundreds of miles to go before we reach the romantic cabin that is our destination. He asks if I want some more upbeat music. I do. He spins the wheel on his iPod and selects Shambling Corpse.
While it is certainly a brisk shot of caffeine, Intangible Blasphemies provides a diverse death metal attack. The album is frenetic, unhinged in its forward-driving composition. The vocals are guttural, delivered in short bursts as pained screams populate the upper register. The solos are a welcome distraction as bends and angular picking leads to a very unidirectional note explosion. Most shocking is the closing track “Intangible Blasphemies.” Adding a touch of noise-core the band pivots to something of an artistic take on death metal as the brief demo fades into obscurity. Definitely an interesting band to keep your eyes on who, given more album space, could produce something truly unique and potentially groundbreaking.