(We present Aleksha McLoughlin‘s review of the third album from slam-tastic Dutch death-dealers Korpse, which came out recently on Unique Leader Records.)
2021 is already shaping up to be a better year than the 365-day horror story that was 2020, as we’ve already been graced with some truly excellent Death Metal releases, including Korpse’s third studio album, which is one of the best Slam records of the past five years.
And although it’s been a long time since the band released Unethical, all the way back in 2016, they’re as unflinchingly savage as they have always been.
This time around, however, in a similar vein to Vulvodynia’s 2019 record Mob Justice, Korpse have switched gears lyrically to address the horrors of the world, as opposed to gratuitous gore for gore’s sake, and it works well, as while Unethical only occasionally touched upon these lyrical beats, Insufferable Violence goes all in.
“Genocidal Bloodbath” is one of the band’s heaviest songs to date, both sonically and lyrically, and it would be remiss of me to omit the sheer unsettling nature of the words coupled with the vile and violent instrumentation that supports them.
“Having a way with women, locking them inside, set their homes ablaze”
It’s rare when Death Metal can genuinely make you feel uneasy, but the sinister sincerity and truly unnerving nature of the delivery sell it masterfully.
This album isn’t lacking in heavy riffs either, as it’s certainly one of the more forceful slam records in terms of the sheer heft and groove that permeate it throughout.
None is this more apparent than on “Vital Transactions” which, in just three and a half minutes, provides a miniature masterclass in guitar techniques – slams, trilling, palm-muted pentatonic progressions, and a suitably merciless breakdown – we hear it all.
“Self Preservation” is equally callous. A riotous combination of bass guitar fury and guitar malice, with special mention reserved for those absolutely disgusting pinch harmonics that accent the main riff as well as the fierce double kick which carries the groove in a seminal demonstration of rhythm and flow.
Production wise too, this is head and shoulders above the sound quality found on the band’s first two records.
If you ever felt like Korpse never met the potential that was harboured in, but also hindered by, the sound of their debut, then you will adore the way this record is put together. The vocal attack is especially menacing, while the guitars have blood bags worth of body, and that bass tone is simply magnificent. Many bands could learn a thing or two from this album.
“Molestation Condonation” is unrelentingly powerful, certain to be live staple when touring can once again happen. It’s particularly impressive hearing the sheer stamina of Sven van Dijk, genuinely one of the greatest Slam/Brutal Death Metal vocalists working today, who flexes his power and prowess nicely around the middle of this track.
The greatest surprise of this album, especially when listening to the Unique Leader Records stream, was the unexpected inclusion of a bonus cover of Lamb of God’s “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For”, which is an absolute joy to listen to, taking one of the band’s most revered songs and punching it up with some seriously brutal Death Metal flair. It is, in a word (or two), fucking wicked.
Overall, Korpse have proved once again that The Netherlands can produce some outstanding Metal records and have retained their crown as one of the titans of the genre.
True, it’s unlikely to win over anyone who is not already a fan of this ultra-violent sub-style, but if you like your riffs to slam hard, you’ll need to delve deep to find something that can rival this.