When this bad boy dropped, I was a little more than a year into my metal citizenship, and eating up all the death metal I could find. So when I came across the grotesque artwork that adorned Forensick I knew two things: A) I had to have this, and B) I had to hide it from my father. If I made it home, I was in the clear. Looking back, I’m surprised the store sold this to me in the first place. I guess it was just my lucky day of nobody giving a damn. There actually was a censored cover, but the one I held in my hands that day, for whatever reason, had the uncensored artwork in full view instead, something I only learned later upon opening it for the first time.
Anyhow… My parents split when I was young, but that didn’t stop my father from trying to regulate what I listen to following a prior experience of him hearing a vulgar release a year prior and prompting my mother to rid a few albums from my collection at the time, so seeing an image of a woman slit open and her unborn baby hanging out, presumably dead, was surely enough to stoke those fires again. My mother had already spoken out against my Dying Fetus CDs due to her disgust to their name, and oh did she ever freak out when she saw the artwork to Cannibal Corpse‘s Worm Infested EP later in life, so my choice to hide this one even when I got home was probably a wise one. The location of choice? Behind a bunch of books on my bookshelf. It seemed to obvious, but damn if it didn’t work out.
Either way, Forensick was my introduction into the brutal death metal world, and, honestly, I didn’t really know what to think at the time. I was still relatively new to the metal world, after all, and something like this was a bit beyond what I could fathom or understand. I was about fifteen at the time, so the intricate guitar work and lower gutturals left me as confused as the song titles that still confound the ever lovin’ hell out of me as I approach thirty years of age. In fact, I became so baffled by this sound, I actually tucked it away after a few spins, never to speak of it again until a few years later.
After coming across some more brutal death metal bands, I decided to give this one a spin again and, right away, I greatly appreciated the subtle gurgling gutturals as opposed to the pig squeal approach that was the in thing to do at that time. It stood out as a far more unique experience than what most bands were doing at the time, not to mention it just felt a lot more natural. Somewhat sharpened distortions on the guitars, that stomach churning snarl, mixes of pure grinding violence with slower paced brutality like “Urethrive Decortico – Xanthomatose Muco Gestated Scaffolds” all spoke volumes about how precise and punishing this style could really be.
While I didn’t take to Forensick that well back when I first heard it, this was the recording responsible for me to take notice of the label Deathvomit Records. It was about a year after I happened on this recording that I started my first metal oriented website. I covered a couple of their releases I happened upon, and after a few months of writing I reached out to the label to see if I could get review material. Deathvomit Records and Necropolis Records (the two were affiliated with one another) were actually the first two labels to ever actually support my drive to spread the good word of metal. It also led to me striking up a brief internet friendship with Sean and Raul of Impaled, and the first e-mail interview I ever conducted (which has been lost to time, sadly) that just so happened to have been between the two of them.
It was due to this cooperation between Deathvomit Records and the site that I actually discovered the band Phobia. I was sent a review copy of Serenity Through Pain, which I took to a little better overall. In fact, I still have that promo sitting in my collection. Sadly, the other album that showed with it isn’t. Alongside Phobia sat the then latest album from Impaled, the legendary Mondo Medicale. This immediately hooked me into being a fan, as well as what prompted the drive to reach out to the band and spark that aforementioned e-friendship. Why isn’t it sitting in my collection now? Some son of a bitch stole it right out of my car a few years later, and since then, I haven’t come across a reasonably priced original pressing of it until recently, and now the problem comes down to the fact that I’m a gimp adult with high medical and prescription costs who can’t even spare the general cost of a CD any more. The only reason I have an original The Dead Shall Dead Remain is because I found it at a used CD store and the owner had no idea what he had, charging a paltry four dollars (US) for it.
And, well, that’s one of the glorious reasons as to why I’m such a devoted metal head. Look at what a random purchase at the local CD store led to. Try doing that with anything mainstream today. Forensick only cemented the concept of brotherhood amongst metal heads for me in more ways than you would think, not to mention led to the discovery of so many kick ass bands I still listen to all these years later, as well as one of the finest brutal death metal albums to ever be released. In fact, it seems the older it and I age, the better it becomes. Listening to it now, I have a greater appreciation for it than I did two years ago. It also brings back fond memories of sitting in my room with the lights turned off and just listening to metal. I can even smell the intoxicating scent of the wood that constructed the house playing through my nostrils on a hazy summer’s night while sitting in my apartment that in no way reproduces that sensation.
Don’t ask me why I never invested more time into Disgorge‘s discography other than, back then, retail was still far superior than buying on-line, and the stores around where I lived never stocking their recordings. Nowadays, well, there’s no excuse. As I sit here listening to Forensick while using this article as an excuse to reminisce about the early days of my metalhood, I’m reminded why I fell in love with the brutal death metal style as a whole, so I must thank Disgorge for that (if for some reason they happen to read this).
I also came to yet another realization half way through this fresh spin: I need more of their albums in my life. It will complete me…