Trichomoniasis – Makeshift Crematoria Review

[Cover art by Juliet Lacarne*]

Postmodernism is a really wild thing to try to navigate in terms of art and music. Take Makeshift Crematoria, the first full length and third release overall for Californian duo Trichomoniasis (don’t Google that name). Is this disgusting, ludicrous, and exponentially extreme noise an affront to proper society and art? Or, by its very nature as something that pushes bounds so gleefully and with such splattery violence, does it attain a kind of artistic stature? Is it more or less valuable than the very tuneful but rather unoriginal track currently earworming its way on the hit charts? When something is this completely inhuman, and meant for only the furthest far reaches of listeners, what is even the point of asking these questions?

Release date: June 12, 2023. Label: New Standard Elite.
Well, for fun, obviously. Fun is the point. Plus, even for someone that loves some seriously sick and depraved brutal death metal sounds (hello), Trichomoniasis is way out there. It might not get everyone pondering the nature of art or thinking about their old pal R. Mutt or what exactly deserves a spot in The Louvre, but it’s sure as hell going to make you stop and go, “What exactly is happening?” as you’re battered by these 36 minutes of sounds.

Trichomoniasis play with what could most politely be described as a complete and utter disregard for common decency, or at least for any preconceived notions of what constitutes “music.” Their death metal is about as brutal and extreme as one can imagine a band becoming, heavy and unrelenting to the point that they basically make Devourment sound like Ratt by comparison. Hunter Petersen’s riffs are a constant mix of blinding whirs, arhythmic chunks, a ton of squeals and scrapes and squeaks, and the type of whammy dive bomb abuse that renders things like “intonation” a thing of the past. The vocals (also from Petersen), while completely incomprehensible in their phlegmy deep guttural style, might actually be mouth-diarrhea-ing out words of real meaning, if track titles like “The Viral Underclass” and “An Embarrassment Of Riches” are any clue. The bass is… in there somewhere, I think. And the drums…

If any aspect of Makeshift Crematoria deserves to be studied at the most highfalutin of music academies, it’s the drumming of Faustino Rodriguez. There’s no doubt at all that Rodriguez has extensive technical skills behind the kit, likely capable to play something far more conventional if he so choose (which he does in some of his many other bands). But what he does on Makeshift Crematoria is about as far from conventional as Tatooine is from the bright center of the universe. Even identifying a regular beat or pattern is just about impossible, with the drums instead choosing to double-kick, roll, and ping-ping everything else into oblivion.

You want a real but positively silly take on this album? Here you go: the snareless snare drum (unsnare drum?) is the lead instrument here. Rodriguez uses a wide range of ping tones, plays his blast beats at speeds ranging from rapid to FTL, and hits that not-snare skin in ways that manage to be infinitely interesting without abandoning the band’s totally alien and rude nature. It’s fascinating, hilarious, truly innovative, and totally bonkers all at the same time. It’s so wacky that it caused my slam-mushed mind to ask the rest of the Last Rites crew, “Hey, how does ‘Pinging Sexy Back’ work for an article series on brutal death metal?” It takes a really open mind, or no mind at all. It’s a really weird headspace, folks.

As a whole, Makeshift Crematoria is a blurry, near-constant cacophony, broken up only by the brief moments when clean guitars are twisted into perhaps the most direct affront to proper “music” on the whole album. The heavy metal wrap-up cliche would be to say the album sounds like it was birthed from the maw of some Eldritch Horror, but this is a monster of our making, a gargantuan cancerous mass aimed back at mankind’s millennia of wrongdoings to our planet and each other. Trichomoniasis achieves this level of antagonism without even sounding like they’re operating within our plane of reality. Anyone not even remotely initiated to this kind of insanity would likely write this off with extreme prejudice, but for that very small minority that remains, it can’t help but conjure some fun questions.

But is it… good? Is “quality” even a word that applies to something like this? I know that a certain, totally warped part of my brain likes the sounds I hear, even if I can’t be sure why. Maybe it’s the shock factor, or maybe I’m truly so far gone that this is what I call an enjoyable musical experience. Whatever the case, I can truthfully say that, to the absolute best of my knowledge, there’s nothing else out there doing things quite like Trichomoniasis, and that alone is worthy of celebration.

Is it worthy of a spot in The Louvre? Probably not, but only because The Louvre specializes in the visual arts. So instead, play this at harmful decibels to a group of corrupt politicians, watch their brains get dissolved into garmonbozia, and then pour that slop into DuChamp’s Fountain to usher in a terrifying new era of the avant-garde.

*Her Instagram is somewhat NSFW. At least, you probably wouldn’t want your boss catching you on it on a work computer. You probably also wouldn’t want your boss catching you listening to this, if only because your sanity might come into question. We here at Last Rites are not your boss.

Posted by Zach Duvall

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; Obnoxious overuser of baseball metaphors.

  1. Jeremiah Boydstun January 6, 2024 at 1:26 am

    Great review overall! Totally agree that one needs to listen to this with an open mind in order to “get it,” which is a tall order since the music so aggressively resists any and all efforts at comprehension.


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