Basement Torture Killings: A Night of Brutal Torture

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Basement Torture Killings: A Night of Brutal Torture
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Basement Torture Killings: A Night of Brutal Torture
Death Metal, Grindcore
Grindscene Records
January 27th, 2014
Release length: 30:53
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If the Goregrind world were to have a serial killer as an unsung mascot, it could be none other than the infamous BTK himself, Dennis Rader. So finding a horror themed band in the genre with a different representation for his name should come as no surprise to anyone. Basement Torture Killings (Get it? Instead of Bind, Torture, and Kill) is a Death Metal and Grindcore outfit from London, England, and has become a three man operation including the unconvicted likes of Thus Defiled guitarist Tarquin, former Scarabaeus guitarist and vocalist Bertrand, and “The Fourth Killer” on drums. With the conceptual stage show in play, they issued their self-titled demo in 2008, followed by their The First Cumming EP in 2009. 2011 saw their debut full-length album The Second Cumming drop through Arcane Productions, and A Split Worse Than Death in 2013. For 2014, the members present their second full-length recording of depravity, A Night of Brutal Torture, this time through the relatively new UK label Grindscene Records. But has their gimmick already worn thin, or are they just getting started?

A Night of Brutal Torture is littered with screams for help and pure agony, as well as audio snippets from various Horror movies or public domain songs. Think Mortician meshed with Exhumed and you’ll get the general idea once “Progressive Depravity” kicks in. The crisp audio quality captures the punishing riffs, nightmarish solos and hooks perfectly against the blistering drums that make it an unforgiving experience. The vocals are your standard gutturals that aren’t too impressive, but the subtle rasp at times does add a little more bite. “Basement Bitch” kicks in immediately after with the Henry Hall crooner classic “Here Comes the Boogeyman.” The echo effect on it is truly creepy, and seems to be carried over to the band’s vocals as well throughout the song, making that basement environment a little more believable. There’s also some additional female shouting about a third of the way through that can send a chill down your spine for as short as they are.

“Kept in a Hole” seems to have the song “Three Blind Mice” performed in another language at the start, as well as around the two-and-a-half minute mark. There’s also some ambience behind it to make the female cries for help a little stronger, setting the stage for a crushing three minute assault. For the most part, the riffs are pretty basic for the style, but the drumming makes them all the more infectious. Then there’s “Car Trunk Caroline,” which just punishes the listener most of the time, especially the head banging mandates that erupt near the guitar solo about two minutes in. The main issue here though is it has the only audio sample that just doesn’t fit and interrupts the flow established at the start of the album. This is due to how crisp and modern it sounds compared to the hollow quality or eighties rawness, the latter of which being the case for “Minus Fingers Teeth and Toes” which sounds like something John Carpenter would have composed.

And while we’re on the topic of “Minus Fingers Teeth and Toes,” this is easily the best track off the release, and will have you crawling back for more. The dual vocals sound great against the low tuned faster paced music that refuses to let up. This is thanks largely to the level of the bass guitar and the slight rawness of the audio itself that gives the recording that dark and musty basement dwelling sound, especially in the chorus. Of course the scattered distant cries of pain are a nice touch to make the atmosphere all the more convincing. And then there’s “Kill for Satan,” which finds the speed amped once more like “Progressive Depravity.” The assault kicks right off with blasting drums with equally as intense guitars, but there are patches where the bass kicks take over to give the higher pitched material a break with a deeper presence thanks to their machine gun speed, as well as some areas that highlight a little more technicality in the chords. The audio sample about ritualistic murders works with the song’s concept as well, even though it’s incredibly short. Overall, this performance makes for one hell of a punishing climax to a surprisingly twisted and perverse offering.

If you were to replace the medical aspect of Impaled with the most depraved and ruthless of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes, then you have the magic that makes up the second full-length album from Basement Torture Killings. While A Night of Brutal Torture is just a much more bludgeoning and intense variation of what many pioneers in the Goregrind field created, this one raises the bar and holds it proud above many of the genre defining releases. The subtle atmospheric undertones to the music, the audio samples that set the stage, the placement of distant screams and cries for help, all of these things work to make A Night of Brutal Torture more than just a collection of ten songs about murder. Instead the simple gimmick transcends into a brutal experience that you won’t soon forget.

01. Progressive Depravity – 2:58
02. Basement Bitcvh – 4:00
03. Car Trunk Caroline – 2:48
04. Gorgasmic Movements in the Dark – 2:44
05. Minus Fingers Teeth and Toes – 3:04
06. Suffocation – 3:09
07. Kept in a Hole – 3:20
08. Malleus Maleficarum – 2:38
09. Without Permission Forced Submission – 2:52
10. Kill for Satan – 3:22
Initial Pressing Score: 9.5/10

Basement Torture Killings
Basement Torture Killings

Digital review copy of this release provided by Grindscene Records.