Friday, July 13, 2012

Placentophagia - Feast on Thyself (2012)

I'm not fan of artists that create graphic shock value with lyrics and album art. In fact, I hate them. Attempts to be disgusting just for the sake of being disgusting is a poor excuse for music, and I want to trash every record that drifts close a similar mindset one-by-one (with a few exceptions, of course.). Take, for example, the average goregrind band. More often than not, they can't adequately play their instruments, nor can they be taken seriously.

Why am I going on this rant? Because Placentophagia, a band I want to enjoy, narrowly avoid falling into the trap, if for only one reason--their music isn't as ludicrous as what their peers are recording. Placentophagia have the vile lyrics. They have the rotten cover art. They even have the dreadful song titles. The Ontarians seemingly fit the formula to a T, nail on the head and all. The band's first EP provides the much needed--or detested--thrill for this sort of style, but they back their music with fairly decent musicianship and a clear understanding of the building blocks that make up death metal.

With the world flipped upside down, I'd enjoy the band right away, but with the cover art and lyricism, it took a little finagling. Musically, the album is choppy and staccato-sounding, which I attribute to the less than stellar production, and hiding below the chaos is a young, fairly inexperienced band. Feast on Thyself looks good on paper; however, it sounds like a mechanical beast running through the motions, with heavy-handed guitar riffs and cursory grunting filling the gaps over what has been put to track. On the flipside, there is hope for the act, as they seem willing to commit big things to their first full-length. From what I've seen of the current line-up, they are dedicated to their material, playing shows and giving out free copies of their music.

As always, music is entirely subjective. To be honest, I really want to like Placentophagia, and I do to some extent. But with their crude theme, as well as an automated brand of death metal, I find it hard to move past the gory imagery and cover art. Still, I can't help but think the band's whole deal is smugly tongue-in-cheek as they get a few laughs over shocked bystanders. Fortunately for Placentophagia, this is only their debut EP, and it isn't uncommon to see a huge improvement around the time a full-length hits shelves--or in this day and age, cyberspace.


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