REVIEW – Chainsaw Castration: Doping in the Void

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  • Bio: Jack Boaden Guitars
    Sam Taylor Vocals
    Lewis Candlin Drums
  • Label: Self-release
  • Release Date: April 5th, 2018
  • Genre: Brutal Death Metal, Death Metal, Deathcore
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

While browsing through Bandcamp on a boring Saturday morning, one band’s logo in particular caught my interest: Chainsaw Castration. A UK-based four-piece (though only three members are credited as of late) composed of musicians from Gorehead formed in 2014, and have since issued a number of smaller releases ranging from singles to EPs to one full compilation. Their latest is a three-song EP titled Doping in the Void, which was released in April of this year independently with the intent of being an example of what their forthcoming full-length album is going to sound like. But was this something truly enjoyable, or does it fail to leave you wanting that future offering?

“Enter the Void” kicks off the festivities with an X-Files audio chunk so bulky that when the brutal death kicks in you’d almost mistaken it for a new Mortician composition. The deep tuning and bludgeoning bass guitar presence laced with the surgical grade precision of the drums present a tightly knit assault on the listener that grates on the face like the tires of a semi-truck stuck spinning on your flesh, only offering a bit of levity when it finally rolls off your skull during the closing slam. It’s the shortest of the three, but easily the most memorable.

From here on the audio samples are missing in action, but the brutality is still on display. Robust brutal death metal snarls and sparingly used squeals work with the bulbous and heavy sound that keeps a steady pace on “Multiple Stab Wounds feat. Brandon Smith (Agonal Breathing)” until just past two-and-a-half minutes in, stopping the sledgehammer brutality for a momentary bout of avant-garde eccentricity that bridges to another climactic slam that’s quite suiting, but not as strong as the previous. “Attainment Of Krishna Consciousness Through Orgiastic Sacrifice feat. Laurence Alves (Coprophagia)” starts like a traditional methodical slab of surgical influenced nineties brutal death, only to slowly mutate through changing bouts of technical guitar work, burdening deathcore breakdowns, and sections of grindcore blastbeats driven intensity that show a surprising amount of range for the act as a whole.

Chainsaw CastrationThere is one final thing that needs to be addressed though, and it’s the words in the parenthesis at the end of the titles for tracks two and three. The more I listen, the more confusing it becomes as to whether these are original creations from Chainsaw Castration, if they are covers, or if they are different bands entirely performing. The latter doesn’t make sense given the Bandcamp page has “New promo for our forthcoming debut full-length” at the bottom, but “Attainment Of Krishna Consciousness Through Orgiastic Sacrifice (Coprophagia)” doesn’t quite sound like the previous two in song structure, as well as the guitar tuning being slightly off in comparison to the two tracks prior.

Whatever the reason may be for those latter songs, Doping in the Void was a nice eight minute discovery on Bandcamp. An overall professional demo/promo recording from the brutal death act Chainsaw Castration, the group blends the typical foundations of the more intense style with hints of deathcore to weave a brief treat that does achieve the goal of leaving you wanting more. If you happen to be a fan of uncompromising death metal with the sole intention of leaving you a quivering mass of pump beneath the weight of the heavy tuning and steamroller pace of progression, then look no further. It may be short, but it’s one hell of a precursor for what the band claims is coming down the pipeline.

Chainsaw CastrationDigital review copy of this release provided by personal funds.