Jun 292023

In their current promo photo the members of Grotesqueries look serious, quiet, maybe a bit withdrawn — but that’s what the neighbors always say about the serial killers who lived down the block after the awful truth comes out. Grotesqueries probably didn’t actually kill anyone in the making of their debut album Vile Crematory, but it sure as hell sounds like they did, and in the most horrible ways you can imagine.

As they did on their debut EP Haunted Mausoleum from last year, this Boston-based quintet devote themselves on the new album to a particular kind of death metal, the kind where almost nothing is clean and almost everything is vile. The kind where the guitars are tuned to sound like manifestations of flesh-eating disease, the vocals are possessed by monstrous horrors, the grooves are calculated to inflict bone-smashing trauma, and the moods are malign, maniacal, and miserable.

But as you’ll also discover for yourselves through our premiere of the album today, on the eve of its release by Caligari Records, Grotesqueries are also very adept at getting the blood of listeners racing, as well as causing it to congeal.

Funeral bells toll and ghosts seem to gasp over gurgling vats of something unspeakable in the album’s first minutes of sound, but then “Hypnagogic Transmutation” begins to rampage, pumped up by clobbering drums, furiously writhing guitars, and bursts of thuggish jackhammer blows. Eerie wailing tones emanate from the marauding and the mutilation, and horrid growls and hideous screams echo from within ancient dungeon walls. A guitar solo convulses like a fever of madness. Melodies of ghastly misery find a place as well.

That same combination of sensations — the sounds of evil ferocity, grotesque illness, and pavement-fracturing brutishness — are hallmarks of the album as a whole. Despite the ghastliness of these sensations, the effect is exhilarating, especially when Grotesqueries are moving at attacking speed, marking their momentum with bamboozling and booming drum-fills, gut-rumbling bass-lines, insectile fretwork, and riffs that sickeningly ooze as well as hungrily feed. They also have a knack for puncturing these onslaughts with bunker-busting breaks and doses of sickening and supernatural soloing.

But Grotesqueries know more than one speed, and it’s in the slower phases of such songs as “Gorrified (The Ageless Malgnancy” and “The Dweller’s Threnody” where they really sink the listener into the depths of purulence and rot, with guitars that drag and moan and rhythms that lumber like a golem stomp, or, as in “Meat You With Chain” and “Dismembered Fears“, where the soloing sounds like lost souls screaming out their agony and grief above truly cataclysmic crushing in the low end. Even in the songs where things slow down, however, the band also send the music into a convulsive boil, and batter away with a vicious will.

The dynamism of the songs proves to be a vital reason why the album doesn’t wear out its grisly welcome, and the dynamism is manifest not just in tempo variations but also in sudden switches among riffs, in the insertion of ghoulish harmonies, and in the moments when those imperious gutturals shockingly explode into spine-tingling shrieks.

Yes indeed, the music is indeed vile but also explosive, blood-curdling but also electrifying, and just as effective at wrecking necks as it is causing minds to flail in roiling seas of disease and madness. See for yourselves:

Yianni Tranxidis – Drums
Brendan O’Hare – Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Connor Thompson – Lead & Rhythm Guitar
John Rainis – Bass Guitar
Mike Buonomo – Vocals

Vile Crematory was recorded and mixed by Chris Leamy (who also contributed a guitar solo on “Madness Breed“), and it was mastered by Magnus Lindberg. It features album artwork by Calvin Cushman/Obsidian Pantheon, and album layout and design by Brendan Coughlin.

Caligari Records will release the album on June 30th digital, CD, and cassette tape formats.



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