Saturday, 23 June 2012

WOMBBATH - Internal Caustic Torments (1993)

01  Prevent Anemia
02  Intestinal Bleeding
03  As Silent As The Grave
04  Corporal Punishment
05  Performed In Depth
06  Conceal Interior Torments
07  Beyond The Gloomy
08  Abandon
09  Several Shapes

Wombbath were formed in Sala, Sweden around 1990 under the name Seizure. As they heard that their band name was already taken they changed it to the more original and creative Wombbath. After having released one 7” EP and a full-length album through the French labels Thrash and Infest Records they were offered a contract for one mini album and one full-length album by Austrian company Napalm Records. 'Internal Caustic Torments' was released in March of 1993 and remains the group's only album to date, the line-up consisting of; Tomas Lindfors (vocals), Tobbe Holmgren (guitar), Håkan Stuvemark (guitar), Richard Lagberg (bass) and Roger Enstedt (drums). The artwork was provided by Sylvain Bell.

Alot of death metal bands came into the fray in the early 1990's only to get pushed aside due to signing with faltering labels or simply running a strand of bad luck and really going nowhere. I'm kind of guessing that that's the route Wombbath took, since I had never heard of these guys (they disbanded in 1995) before I happened to stumbled across this record. I have no idea what a Wombbath is, but what this band do is make very heavy, gruff death metal, sounding like an angrier Autopsy in the process.

There is the occasional hint of experimentation here and there ("Abandon" is actually a pretty strange track that reminds me a bit of Gorement) and a few little keyboard sections are thrown in for a bit of extra atmosphere but other than that the approach is fairly standard, although certainly not what comes to mind when thinking of Swedish death metal. The thick, grimy production coupled with the deep barked growls of Tomas Lindfors over the constant assault of riff after sick riff is the icing on the cake here. The band resists thrashing out, preferring middle tempo/doom paces that pleasantly bring Benediction to mind, especially where the vocals are concerned. Stand-out tracks here are; "Intestinal Bleding", "As Silent As The Grave" and the oddly titled "Beyond The Gloomy".

Sometimes I wonder about the direction modern death metal has taken, when stuff from 20 years ago is just so absolutely crushing and ominous sounding. If you like brutal, heavy, and bludgeoning death metal, then be sure to track down 'Internal Caustic Torments' and uncover one of the Swedish scene's lost relics.

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