[Cover art by Ars Moriendee]
Like all metalheads worth their weight in god’s tears, the Last Rites crew is a big fan of Doug Moore. Is it because he used to contribute his eloquent sentences to this very site? No! While we forgive his lapse in judgment for abandoning us, we certainly can’t compliment him for the departure. Is it because he is a substantial hunk of man meat that makes every disgusting bar he plays in feel like a Chippendale show? Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
Glorious Depravity’s debut album, Ageless Violence, provides us with a resounding YES to that question. The band’s name is a clear indicator of their mission: Revel in filth from sound to lyrics and simply provide skin-flying riffs, bone-crunching rhythms and guttural barfs that will leave you smirking in sewage. For all gore’s sake, the opening track is titled “Ocean of Scabs” and it might not even be the grossest one on there.
So what are the credentials of our other purveyors of purulence? George Paul (Mutilation Rites) and Matt Mewton (Woe) are guitarists who know how to put together a gnarly riff that will crack your neck. Chris Grigg (Woe) brings an excellent drumming performance that pounds through the mud driving every song forward, while newcomer John McKinney does an admirable job providing a slick heartbeat to this corroded corpse of an album. Permit Moore to bellow from his bowels all over their destructive concoctions and you have one tasty morsel of rot to chew on.
The opening riff on “Ocean of Scabs” would make the boys in Goatwhore proud, and throughout the album, a blackened tinge on the riffs is ever-present. While the comparison to those New Orleans road dogs is not 1:1, the workmanlike approach to the songwriting is comparable. Glorious Depravity primarily sticks to speed on songs lasting 3-5 minutes and cut themselves off at a perfect 30 minutes.
“Digital Reaper” is probably the one-song sample to let you get a taste of what they do best. The opening riff sounds like it’s teetering on the edge of flying off the rails into a solo. The riffs in the body that follow chug harder than Homer Simpson at Moe’s on, well, any day of the week really. Grigg implements a nice staccato snare pattern at various points while regularly adding quick fills that keep the sense that the song might just blow itself apart at any second. Mewton and Paul fire off a noisy dive-bombing lead and another that shred while abusing the whammy bar. These elements pervade throughout Ageless Violence. “The Stone Hammer Swings” provides a particularly great drum performance that features a slick series of fills around the 2:45 mark that downshift into a marching plod to lock the listener into a groove with the bass and guitars that follow.
Album closer, “Forced to Witness,” gives Glorious Depravity the chance to do a Cannibal Corpse-style slowdown not unlike “Festering in the Crypts.” It begins with rolling drums like a tar-caked version of “Painkiller” before letting the guitars come in with a mid-paced monster of a riff that features a touch of pinch harmonics. The song continually builds on itself, deftly showing that these guys know when to pull back and when to crank the speed above 50 miles per hour in the hopes that your bus of a butt will explode.
Doug Moore is a human dictionary and while songs like “Incel Christ” and “The Oligarchic Exsanguinator” stick in line to his usual jabs at societal issues; he also flexes his ability to wallow in death metal’s most unkempt kitchens with tasty morsels of gristle-clogged lyrics. For example:
“In ooze-choked fathoms compressed by dried gore
Where trapped clumps of hair take the texture of pitch
This sub-sanguine cistern
Hides vile creatures no sane god would admit” – “Ocean of Scabs”
“Robert slaved daily down at the shop
‘Til the twisting lathe ripped his hand clean off
His surgeons labored for tireless hours
Seeking reunion for that which he’d maimed
But Bob’s jagged wound had by then long soured
And his claw was cast into the flames
Purposeless, he took the path of the coward
Swung from a rope to escape his shame” – “Hospital Incinerator Blues”
That last song finds inspiration from this real-life horror story that happened in Arizona. That alone should give you an idea of what kind of death metal Glorious Depravity has to offer. Moore also incorporates a few doses of repeated lines that should serve well as call-and-response opportunities if live shows are ever a thing again.
Ultimately, this is death metal by the numbers. They could elevate this a bit if the guitar leads were given more space to really run. The majority of them only last a few seconds; they offer glimpses of fire but feel capable of providing an inferno. Ageless Violence is just a blast of straightforward death metal that’s as slick and gross as skin sluicing off of a burn victim.
If that sounds appealing to you, then join us down in this sewer – we all float down here!