Picture a James Bond villain: Refined, debonair, intellectual; enacting some long-goal plan for world domination, some chess-game masterclass in malevolence that requires vast and far-reaching machinations; a portrait of upper-class sociopathy and grace.
Now picture a street kid who will beat your ass with a baseball bat for the $20 in your pocket. He or she is no less sociopathic, but the kid is a hell of a lot more direct, far less fancy. There’s nothing innovative about being beaten with a bat, nothing in that brutal swing that doesn’t happen in a thousand big city alleys a hundred times a night, but it keeps happening because it’s straight to the point and it works almost every time. No international incidents; no satellite weapons systems; no secret lairs. Just strike one, strike two, strike three, and you’re out like a light, bub, $20 poorer and with a brand new knot on your noggin.
In the interim between 2018 and now, founding drummer Anubis Sandoval departed, replaced by Saul Anzaldo, who also plays in Rotting Grave with Morbid Messiah guitarist Roberto “Not Danny” Trejo. No slight on Sandoval, but Anzaldo brings a noticeably energetic swagger to Disgorged that wasn’t present on Demoniac, picking up the proceedings and pushing up the aggression factor. Vocalist Jose Rivas grunts and growls, mostly in a deep semi-articulated bellow, shot through occasionally with some higher-pitched screams for good measure. Overall, a further embracing of that vocal variety would push everything up a notch further — the best vocal moments on hand are those where Rivas balances the grunt and the scream, particularly in the dual-vocal closer “Angel Of Disembowelment.”
Musically, Trejo’s riffs don’t break any molds, but they certainly get the point across, carving and crushing when each is necessary, from the tremolo-picked buzzsawing of the title track to the groovier midtempo crunch of “Dungeon Of Vermin.” What solos there are built of whammy swoops and trills, short bursts of boiling and bubbling squalls. The tone is stout, sharp, carving, while the bass beneath is a gnarled, clanking, springy beast, matching the riffs in tandem. Anzaldo’s drums are live and punchy without being too raw, pushing the band ever forward with a warlike momentum. Songwise, there are no duds, no real stumbles, but the highlights bookend the album, with the vicious swing of the title track and the closing cacophony of “Angel Of Disembowelment,” the latter of which is a beast in its venomous violence.
In the space between their first full-length and whatever comes next, this EP shows that Morbid Messiah is trending upwards, improving upon their established style and sharpening their spikes. Sure, it’s been done before, but innovation isn’t necessary for bashing heads. Is Disgorged In The Coffin gonna blow your mind? Probably not. But will it knock a nice new knot on your noggin? It very well could.