Intestine Baalism - _An Anatomy of the Beast_
(Repulse Records, 1997)
by: Henry Akeley (8 out of 10)
Some solid death metal from this Japanese outfit. It's not especially brutal by 1997 standards, but it's nicely varied and precisely played, with a sound that is in some ways distinct. Overall, the compositions are highly reminiscent of some of the earliest stuff from Swedes like Entombed and Dismember, but with the frequent addition of mid-paced, semi-melodic riffing and lead work that has an emotive, rather doomy feel. "Cannibal Sodom" makes great use of this technique, which crops up in several other songs as well. Occasional doses of more overt blast-heavy brutality are also offered, but most of the time the band switches off between punchy riffing and down-tuned rudi-melody in the vein of _Left Hand Path_. (But check out "Blasphemy Resurrected" if _Like an Ever Flowing Stream_ is more your style.) For my money, "Energumenus" wins the day, since it's the most slamming track here, but "Cannibal Sodom" and "A Place Their Gods Left Behind" also prove enjoyable thanks to the mix of death metal crunch and moody leads. Great production, too, and the playing is top notch. It's not quite what I personally look for in death metal (warped, hyper structure and slamming percussive weight), but it's undeniably a quality chunk of metal all the same.

(article published 14/7/1997)

6/8/2003 P Azevedo 8 Intestine Baalism - Banquet in the Darkness
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