Infernal Torment - _Birthrate Zero_
(Diehard, 1997)
by: Paul Schwarz (6 out of 10)
When I slapped _Birthrate Zero_ into my stereo I was a bit miffed as to where this band got the idea, expounded in their press release, that they were -so- death metal and -so- brutal. The album isn't easy listening, but it follows the ideas presented on Death's _Symbolic_ album. I don't dislike _Symbolic_, but it is not "pure death metal", and neither is _BZ_. _BZ_ is not a bad album; it has some cool riffs (the opening chords to "Product of Society" being a definite high point), and the vocals, although rather lacking in variation, are not all that bad. The thing which brings the whole album down, though, is the drumming, which is slow, simple, repetitive and boring. There are cool riffs, this is true, but the songs are definitely longer than can be justified, and you find yourself wondering why the band don't end at the three minute mark and instead often carry on to the six minute mark. Nothing wrong with this in theory (Carcass' "Forensic Clinicism" is 7:09, and I don't get bored of this), but none of the songs here add anything more after about three minutes -- or they just spend the first three playing samey riffs and -then- change to some other for the next three minutes. Maybe their love for Iron Maiden, whose "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" they cover after the final, ridiculously titled track "Fuck The Whales", drives them to write songs like this -- who knows? But, then again, who really cares?

(article published 1/1/1998)

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