Severe Torture - _Misanthropic Carnage_
(Hammerheart, 2002)
by: Adam Lineker (6 out of 10)
The prospect of a second encounter with Severe Torture in only two issues of CoC did not exactly fill me with joy, as I had thought very little of their _Butchery of the Soul_ EP. Thankfully, the fact that they just got banned in Switzerland for a truly delightful piece of cover-art made reviewing _Misanthropic Carnage_ more of an opportunity than I first anticipated. It didn't take a long time to realise that this album was a lot more worthy of my time than _Butchery of the Soul_, but that's not really saying much. Utilising a rather chewy distortion guitar, _Misanthropic Carnage_ is cut from a rather low-fi cloth. Fortunately this rawness creates defining character traits; the bass rattles and thumps along under the guitar lines, all its natural peaks and troughs laid bare for the listener, while the drums maintain a tight and basic attack, even if a little too quiet in the overall mix. Add this to Dennis Schreurs' belching death grunts and we are left with an aggressive and gory brand of metal. Severe Torture do themselves justice in performance of their material and extra credit must go to Patrick Boliej for some impressively technical bass lines. Unfortunately _Misanthropic Carnage_ suffers from a certain mundanity in the song writing. Though Severe Torture carve out some effective riffs, they lack progression; each riff they conjure up is merely slotted into a four bar phrase before lurching into a different riff that also gets repeated another four times. There is very little variation from this pattern and the only embellishment on the displayed riffage comes from the drum line. With the lyrics being nothing short of totally incomprehensible (a rather traditional touch), Schreurs is found lacking in invention and quickly becomes boring. Although Thijs van Laarhoven's guitar forms the lynchpin of the Severe Torture sound, he fails to shine on this record; a few guitar solos would not have gone amiss. Although enjoyable in parts, one cannot escape the feeling that _Misanthropic Carnage_ plods along and lapses into a vagueness that obscures anything resembling a stand out track. Fans of gory death can catch Severe Torture on tour with Cannibal Corpse and no doubt others will want to see what all the controversy is about, but I recommend you don't believe the hype. The music on _Misanthropic Carnage_ is not quite as interesting as its cover.


(article published 26/3/2003)

11/29/2010 A El Naby 7 Severe Torture - Slaughtered
9/1/2002 A Lineker 5.5 Severe Torture - Butchery of the Soul
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