Bodyfarm – Malevolence (Cyclone Empire)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

Silly Blistering, reading the name “Bodyfarm” made us think of “Phat Farm” or just a farm in general. Then after gradually connecting the dots (thank you, coffee), we came to the realization that this Dutch four-piece was a brutal death metal band, looking to recall the magical era of Scream Bloody Gore and Severed Survival. On their Malevolence debut, they accomplish that in spades, although it’s quite evident that the band is more of a sum of their influences than anything else.

Aside from the usual gore-for-more lyrics (see: “The Butcher” and the awesomely-titled “Tombstone Crusher”), Bodyfarm seems to favor Spiritual Healing-era Death, just without the magnificent solos and Schuldiner’s scathing social commentary. This is most evident on the aforementioned “The Butcher,” where the band busts out a Bill Andrews-like drum shuffle and chunky riffs. “Iced” turns into a bulldozer ala Incantation, while “Sleep Terror” and “Demons of the Cross” take the sloppy boogies of Autopsy and update it, albeit without the dastardly charm and gruntwork of yesteryear.

It’s only fitting that former Massacre/Denial Fiend singer Kam Lee joins the band for a rendition of Massacre’s “Cryptic Realms.” Lee still has a razor-throated growl that most death metal singers would hack off their extremities for, making “Cryptic Realms” the clear-cut album highlight. Too bad Bodyfarm couldn’t swap out some of their own limbs for at least some semblance of character and originality.

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