Metal Review – Servants of the Mist: Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation

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Metal Review – Servants of the Mist: Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation
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Servants of the Mist: Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation
Funeral Doom Metal
Self-release
June 24th, 2014
Release length: 25:02
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Tampa, Flordia’s six-piece Funeral Doom Metal directors Servants of the Mist formed back in late 2010 and slowly been masterminding the brand of brutal misery that would soon be unleashed on the masses. 2013 saw the release of the Daydreamer single, followed later that year by the successful debut self-released EP Suicide Sex Pact. That roughly twenty-nine minute long trip into the depths of Southern fried misery gave listeners little more than eight months to go through all five stages of grief and loss, a period simply not long enough after such a crippling blow before diving into that effort’s follow-up 2014 digital EP Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation. But after coming so far in such a short amount of time does this collection pull off another quality earth shattering creation, or does it fail to even make a single plate move momentarily?

First of all, Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation isn’t a track-by-track effort, but rather an experience that seems to be cut into two parts. “Sadism and Suffering” introduces a bit of Drone in the background with audio samples that address despair and negativity in a psychological manner. Some of them may seem a bit cheesy, such as the last one with how loud the voice is. Eventually it all makes sense, being something you need to hear more than just once to fully grasp. This builds to the near twelve minute assault that is “Undeserving.” Deep, crushing down-tuned guitars and bass crash in, carrying a hint of Crust Punk and Hardcore with the kind of dirtiness you would expect from a Southern Lord Records act before trudging along as if all hope had literally been taken away. Additional effects through the guitar can be picked up from time to time, such as during the change in pace around three minutes in that also brings in harsher screams to work with gutturals that end up placed on hold when in this tempo. Bleak, black, and utterly miserable, it becomes absolutely impossible to look away as you smell the scent of death creeping closer behind you, confirmed during the slowest moments that let the ringing simple notes freeze you to the core.

While an incredibly impressive start, it’s the second set that Servants of the Mist seem to drop the ball a bit by suddenly changing the way they present the amount of sorrow bombarding you. “Commit Suicide” starts with a news package sample of a reporter discussing the late G.G. Allin and his apparent quest to make kids kill themselves before delving into a cover of his song in question. Of course this brief Punk outburst is turned into a suiting Doom Metal offering that shows off the group’s Crust influence once again, briefly using the lyrics and musician’s persona from another clip of him speaking at the end to establish the darkest depths of humanity before wading slowly into the murkiness of “Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation.” Unlike “Undeserving,” some of the Stoner Rock and Sludge Metal foundations far from the common Southern tropes are largely absent. While this does hurt the range of emotion found in the track itself, the crushing, slow paced mixture of Funeral and traditional Doom Metal work quite well, though it’s more the first than the latter a good majority of the time, crushing you with held notes and ominous gutturals that seem all around you.

It’s an absolute shame that Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation is simply a digital only EP according to the press release as this is set up in a manner that not only fits on vinyl with two tracks on each side, but the rough, burdening audio quality would simply be even uncompromising on that format. Hopefully one day it will get the treatment it so rightfully deserves but, for now, digital ownership is the best you can do, a sacrifice fans of visceral, despair-riddled Doom Metal will find a little easier to accept given the low price of three dollars (US). If you missed out on last year’s Suicide Sex Pact [which is available as a “name your price” download on their official Bandcamp page at the time of writing this review] then don’t hesitate to experience the soul obliterating Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation as soon as humanly possible, which is not soon enough…

01. Sadism & Suffering – 1:35
02. Undeserving – 11:56
03. Commit Suicide – 3:29
04. Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation – 8:02
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Servants of the Mist
Servants of the Mist

Digital review copy of this release provided by Servants of the Mist via Clawhammer PR.