[Warning: In case you remain unaware, the album artwork for this record is extremely NSFW (and outside of work.)]
The world is your oyster. If you like oysters, that is. Hell, the world is your oyster even if you hate oysters with every fiber of your being.
Some days you wake up to the smell of fresh coffee and feel remarkably refreshed. Then you realize you have a full hour before you have to leave for work, so you take Snickers out for a nice walk in the early morning sunshine.
Other days, you’re just tooling around the smelting plant minding your own business when you’re unexpectedly struck in the head by molten metal after a furnace explosion. One minute you’re humming “Simple Man,” the next you’re experiencing the same sensation a January Christmas tree does when forced to stand next to a defective space heater. Opener “Euthanasia” sounds like the scorching victory of extreme heat that fuses hard hat, hair, cheek meat and fillings into a lump of pure misery. The closing minute sounds more fiendish than Deicide filtered through Ted Bundy’s bloomers, and the closing solo is disgusting and brief and wants you to slip in the shower.
Some days you come out to the car and find a note folded underneath your windshield wiper from a secret admirer who wants to reveal that he or she thinks you’re wonderful.
Some days you just so happen to check behind a certain piece of furniture and discover the jacket you thought you’d lost. When you slide your arms into its perfectness, you find a bonus twenty-dollar bill tucked inside a pocket.
Other days, you go to work early at the bar in hopes of getting to the bottom of that pungent smell that’s been penetrating the usual odor of spoiled beer and booze, only to discover the festering remains of colossal rat stuck behind a wood panel that apparently died while giving birth to a litter of eight babies that in turn also died because the mother rat was so large that it blocked the only escape. The realization that such a cruel demise went down so close to where you prepare nightly whiskey sours dumps an extra allotment of sharp acid onto the leftover tuna wrap currently moldering in your stomach. “Funeral Inversion” is as gruesome and spore-some as all of that, and its follow-up, “Catacombs of Putrid Chambers,” explores the peculiar dilemma of finding yourself shrunk to microscopic size and being forced to live inside a recently deceased rat in the midst of putrefaction. Who would’ve guessed that bacteria’s singing voice sounds like Glen Benton circa 1990 while having his fingernails removed with pliers? Sporadic leads wriggle like maggots having a blast in a blood puddle, but the overall pace of these two cuts is slower and more rotted than the rest. Hey, karma is cruel; maybe you should’ve thought twice about putting out rat poison at work.
Some days you find a parking spot right next to the venue, and the band you really dig puts on the best show you’ve seen in years.
Other days, you’re at Spring Break with your bros and someone loads up a two-beer bong and points it in your direction. Everyone’s watching and you’re already a little loaded, but you don’t want to look like a wimp, so you destroy it like the champ you are. Unfortunately, your victory bow comes with a price—you drop backwards and flip right over the railing and plummet nine stories to the concrete below. You hit the pavement like a 180lb bag of melons, and the only thing more brutal than feeling your organs explode inside your body is realizing that you’re still sort of alive as you bounce into the neighboring pool and feel the water finish off what the concrete started. “Into the Deceased” is an accidental 90-foot swan dive onto cement, and it salutes the grim truth that some people’s last performance on this earth involves ruining a warm Florida evening for a bunch of 20-somethings just hoping to get bombed and laid. The leads on this track are like lifelines thrown out to a drowning soul, but those lifelines are actually active firehoses that do more damage than good.
Some days you complete the New York Times Thursday crossword puzzle in ten minutes and get your tax refund check just in time for the new Zelda on Nintendo Switch.
Other days, you’re standing in the subway playing Dimple-Dunk on your iPhone 40 when some prick who’s late for work accidentally runs into you at a full sprint, thereby knocking your unprepared ass directly onto the tracks. How interesting that you never really paid much attention to those warning signs about the third rail until this very moment. Funny thing about suddenly having 600 volts course through your body—it really smarts! The only thing that could make things worse is getting hit by a 65,000lb train while you’re down there. Oh, speak of the devil! What a perfect day for the 7:45am train to be right on time. The song “Posthumous Humiliation” is as fun as being killed by an annoyingly punctual commuter train. It’s also the sort of track that makes Vital Remains sound like the Beach Boys. The revolting lead waggling in the middle helps get Rhonda out of your heart by making sure she never comes out of the cellar again.
Some days the only red marks to be found on your Systematic Ethics term paper read, “Great work! Keep it up!”
Other days, you get lost while on a hike, fall down a steep embankment, break both legs and one arm, and spend three awful nights pinned to an old tree with no way to signal for help. Sure gets old eating grass and whatever bugs happen to crawl past while trying to figure out how to use fallen pinecones to your advantage. Isn’t nature terrific? “Emaciated” is the most vile and violent song amongst a pile of grisly tunes packed with more intensity than a pair of razor wire underpants, and it’s a perfect way to illustrate what’s about to happen once a snuggly wolverine finally sniffs out your whereabouts. They generally go for the soft parts first, but at least you’ll be alive to watch the fun happen. Rip, shred, pull, hot, cold, rip, crap, tear, scream, claw, gorge, die—all to the snazzy beat of those frisky drums.
Some days your significant other comes home with burritos for dinner, and Netflix releases the latest season of Castlevania.
Other days, you decide to help out the little old lady next door by dragging her garbage cans to the curb in a massive thunderstorm. You feel great about yourself and plan on letting all your Twitter friends know about your good deed when you’re suddenly struck by a bolt of lightning that sends one billion volts screaming through your body. The last thing you recall seeing before being reduced to a smear of cursed cinder on a stranger’s driveway is that little old lady laughing from her stoop. “Celebratory Defilement” is the soundtrack to hearing her snickering as you blink out of existence and join the rest of earth’s fallen heroes as useless molecules cruising the solar system.
“Rusted Wind” closes out the affair, and it’s tremendously doomy. Like, actually doomy. It’s a suitable nail in this miserable coffin lid.
Why are we: so obsessed with // can’t look away from // consumed with celebrating the unfortunate and grotesque? Because disaster takes every bit of its equal share of most every creature’s life, and curiosity ran over the cat with a ’64 Pontiac GTO right in front of you when you were only eight years old, so now you think of Mr. Boots every time you hear wheels peeling on the street.
Posthumous Humiliation does everything that its predecessor did, but it simply does it grosser, heavier, rottinglier, and…better? Can something as horrific as this be better than anything? Ask the guy who lost an arm in a lathe, I guess.
I have no idea what happens next with Pissgrave, but I can confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that I don’t really want to know what’s on the particularly scummy sunrise for these gentle souls. Like my dear gammy used to say, “Enough bad things will happen to you in life without your going out and looking for it.” Pissgrave is for people who ignore that sage advice.