|Death Metal, Grindcore, Hardcore
Pulverizer Records, Relapse Records (2011)
1996 / January 18th, 2011
Release length: 28:42
One notable element of Purification Through Violence is the recording quality, which many people can’t seem to get past. For the time it was recorded, the album has the general recording quality for many Grindcore acts of it’s time. The production is definitely muddier then it probably should be, the guitars are heavy, but yet that intimidating, and the vocals really stand out in the mix with drums that sound great and have just enough click in the double bass to make them stand out against the snares. All of this both helps and hurts the recording in various ways. Obviously the vocals sound great against the music, and the drumming works well as it goes between a general Death Metal sound into a Hardcore groove or Grindcore blast beats perfectly. The bass drums could have been a little deeper then what they are, but the click they have sounds well against the often deep and somewhat menacing overall sound. The only time they don’t sound that great is when the main focus of the music falls solely on the snares, as they just don’t quite match the deeper tones that the guitars are going for when they are simply by themselves, such as that type of moment during the song “Beaten Into Submission”, which happens near the end of the track.
The guitars themselves are another story. While the music can often sound heavy, the guitars don’t really sound as deep and menacing as they should be. The slower paced groove that some songs have can take great advantage of this is done right, but if the band incorporates some odd pauses in the simpler chords being played, much like through “Blunt Force Trauma”, it can hurt. But, still, the guitars could have been deeper, which also would have benefitted the faster moments on here, which really bring the band into a whole other level. The music can turn into more of a Grindcore Napalm Death sound on many tracks, and it just feels like Hell is slightly restrained from breaking loose. “Skull Fucked” is the perfect example of this as there are plenty of slower groove and intense Death Metal and Grindcore passages in it that are executed perfectly, but still feel a little held back solely by the sound of the guitars not being rich, deep, and heavy enough. Luckily, the change to getting them to the perfect level isn’t much, so they aren’t that off, and in some cases, when the guitars work nicely with the bass, the music can become monsterous, which is typically what happens when it’s focused more on Death Metal, or incorporating a Slam Death Metal section into the mix. “Permanently Disfigured” is the perfect example, coming off as an unrelenting song that has a few moments that seem restrained, but not by much, though the guitar solo sounds good, but the sound of the guitar itself during the solo clashes a bit against the heavier bass-driven music.
Everything on this release moves fluidly, which was something some of their previous material lacked. The slower moments often had awkward pauses in the groovier moments, which is nowhere to be found on this recording. The drumming sounds more human and technical in comparison to previous recordings as well. All around, this CD shows the basic foundation of Dying Fetus the best, and there’s no denying that there are some great tracks on here. As mentioned, “Skull Fucked” does a great job at mixing all the ideas the band incorporates, “Raped on the Altar” is just a great Death Metal oriented track that shows the band trying to sound as brutal as possible, and in many ways pulls it off. You also have the Slam happy “Nocturnal Crucifixion” which utilizes the bass perfectly to create a menacing sound through much of the track and cause it to genuinely stand out at one of the best tracks, especially when the speed picks up in some of the varying musical changes throughout the recording. The audio samples on some tracks don’t always work, but the audio sample that kicks off “Scum (Fuck the Weake)” is rather disgusting, and matches the atmosphere of the song and production quality nicely for the release.
Much like the 2011 reissue of Infatuation Through Malevolence from Relapse Records, there’s a few changes to this CD. However, none of the tracks have been moved around. This reissue comes in a digipack as well, features new artwork compared to the original pressing (which is actually just the second cover more ommonly associated to the album from the original publisher), and has lined notes on the inside left from Jason Netherton, the founding bassist of Dying Fetus, and on the right panel is a photo of the band and the information about the band members and the songs. Once again, the reissue does not have a booklet, which feels more like a step backwards, as it’s always fun to crack open the booklet in accompanyment to the album.
However, this edition does feature two bonus tracks not on the original pressing, but this is also where things get tricky. Prior to this reissue, a vinyl pressing was made that is strictly limited to 1000. This vinyl edition contains two bonus tracks, both of which do not appear on this reissue. This actually comes more as a blow to the fans considering the Infatuation with Malevolence reissue featured all the tracks from the first reissue and more. Instead, what we have here are two new bonus tracks all together. “Beaten Into Submission (1887 Rehearsal Demo)” is a never released demo recording during a band practice, and “Raped on the Altar (Live in Herbolzheim, Germany, 1998)” is another live track that sounds great from the raw quality and extra on stage energy. There’s only one question that comes to mind with these tracks: Why are they divided amongst the two? They clearly are all from the same source, so why not have one CD featuring the rehearsal demos, and another the live tracks? Sadly, it doesn’t make sense, and makes you wonder if this means there will be more of these tracks in the same set up on the next set of reissues that are planned for March of 2011.
What it comes down to it that Purification Through Violence is a much stronger effort then the band’s demo material, and really shows that the group has set a solid foundation for their sound. The music here isn’t really that heavy or intense at times, with a production quality that is muddy, but finds the music heavily reliant on the bass, which in some songs simply doesn’t work with the music to create that overall intense feeling. All together, however, it’s not a bad experience at all, and there are plenty of great tracks on here, coupled with some that were a good effort, but clearly didn’t come out too strong. Dying Fetus have definitely put their best foot forward on their first actual studio full-length recording, and the reissue adds two new tracks to the mix, though including the other two from the vinyl pressing definitely would have been a plus in Relapse’s favor. In the enhd it all comes down to whether you feel the perks and faults of the reissue is worth picking it up, and if you don’t own it yet, it’s worth looking in to.
01. Blunt Force Trauma – 5:25
02. Beaten into Submission – 2:50
03. Skull Fucked – 2:55
04. Permanently Disfigured – 3:25
05. Raped on the Altar – 3:55
06. Nothing Left to Pray For – 3:55
07. Nocturnal Crucifixion – 3:23
|Initial Pressing Score: 8/10
2011 Reissue Score: 8/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.