Blast Rites: Lipoma – Odes To Suffering Review

A few weeks back, we wrapped our annual early July round-up of the things we missed out on covering in a timely manner, so in the spirit of not doing things in a timely manner, I’ll start off by mentioning an album I should have covered… but, like… last year.

Release date: July 17, 2023. Label: Grand Vomit Productions.
The first full-length from one-man melo-goregrind outfit Lipoma, Horrors Of Pathology was released in September of 2022, a slicing-dicing collection of sharp-edged tremolo riffs that lean against the sturdier edges of melodic death metal, buoyed by drum-machine blastbeats and pitchshifted gurgles and grunts. In a sub-sub-genre where ugliness and raw atmosphere often overshadows the finer points of musicality and arrangement, Lipoma stands out through that eternal, undeniable, and unbeatable heavy metal truth: the power of a sharp, catchy riff.

And being nothing if not prolific – managing 7 splits, 4 EPs, 2 compilations thereof, 2 singles, and now 2 full-lengths in just 2 years – Dr. Lipoma has returned ten months after Horrors with the second of those long-players. Building upon the strength of the first one, and of all those various shorter stabs, Odes To Suffering is equal parts an audible improvement upon their / his melodic gore metal approach, and a furtherance of the established pattern. As before, riffs rip right and left, guitars entwined in fast-picked runs offset with some fast-strummed dissonant chords, while the programmed drumming keeps the blasting set on maximum bash. There are huge-hook-fisted riffs in virtually every track, from “Descent Into Disease” through that well-worn love song “Hematomas Of The Heart” to “Hymns Of Hepatitis” and “Death Diatribes” and beyond. (As you can see, Dr. Lipoma enjoys a good alliteration.)

Mostly, Odes hits hard and almost uniformly fast, with those right-hook riffs and all the requisite bloodied violence you’d expect from goregrind. The vocals are pushed further back in the mix, leaving them a little less defined than previously – they’re still heavily effected gutturals, of course, and that slight shift makes them even uglier, eerier, adding a little bit more atmosphere on that front, and yet still allowing those entwined guitar riffs to lead the charge. Thrashing, dancing guitars propel “Leaving Leprosy Land,” with its lifting, nearly epic melody in the midsection; the twisting tremolo touches of “Demonic Delusions” give rise to blast-happy grinding, and still those guitars slide and slice along. Saving its one slight deviation for the tail-end, Odes To Suffering closes with its title track, some tinkling distant piano beneath the only sample on hand, before almost immediately jumping back into more of Odes’ overall attack, before shifting midway through its nearly seven-minute runtime into a brief interlude with some chiming arpeggios and almost post-metal chords. The juxtaposition of those melodies, that approach, against the drum-machine blasting melodic death/grind before is an interesting one, and one that could definitely be explored further as Lipoma progresses.

The only real complaint about Odes To Suffering is that, at nearly forty minutes long, it’s… well, a lot of grinding, and with no samples or anything drastically different from anything else until the end, it does blur together a bit along the way. Considering the prodigious pace with which Lipoma is proceeding, it’s remarkable that both Horrors and Odes and the various EPs and splits I’ve heard (which is, admittedly, not all of them) hold up pretty much universally well, so take that criticism with some salt, for sure.

If you’ve been searching for the middle ground between melodeath majesty and goregrind grossness – or even if you weren’t, but that sounds like a fun place to be (and it is) – here’s one worth watching, absolutely. Another winner from the wonderfully named Grand Vomit Productions, a grand vomit indeed.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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