Monday, 23 July 2012

BROKEN HOPE - Swamped In Gore (1991)

01  Borivojs Demise (Intro)
02  Incinerated
03  Swamped In Gore
04  Bag Full Of Parts
05  Dismembered Carcass
06  Devourer Of Souls
07  Awakened By Stench
08  Gorehog
10  Gobbling The Guts
11  Cannibal Grave
12  Claustrophobic Agnostic Death

'Swamped In Gore' is the first album from US death metal band Broken Hope. It was recorded at Wave Digital Studios and was released on November 21st 1991 by Grind Core Records.

Broken Hope, from my understanding are a pretty well praised brutal death metal band. 'Swamped in Gore' is considered by many to be a masterpiece of brutality. I was very excited when I got the re-issue of this album and I couldn't wait to be pummeled by heavy, gory old school death metal. This is by no means a horrible album, but it's just very mediocre especially compared to the band's later offerings. 'Swamped In Gore' was one of the first albums ever to be recorded from start to finish digitally. Sadly, the sound is quite weak, with almost everything being flat and muffled. You're going to have to turn this album up really, really loud in order to hear the tracks at a decent level. I'm not obsessive about over produced, polished sounding albums but this is just unacceptable.

Unembarrassed with violent content and undeterred by the risk of lengthy songs, Broken Hope is not in the game of holding back on 'Swamped In Gore'. This is an admirable quality, especially for a debut album on a small label, and the band writes death metal with groove a la Suffocation. There are some quick-paced hell raisers like “Gorehog” and “Dismembered Carcass” to liven up the proceedings, but aren’t mainstays like on their next album, 'The Bowels Of Repugnance'. An abrasive guitar solo, a rare occurrence on 'Swamped In Gore', boosts “Gobblin’ The Guts”, a highlight and my favourite track from this record.

The guitar work is nothing mind blowing, these riffs are not too technical. The drumming is solid, good double bass work and choppy, grinding blasting can be found in these songs. The vocals are excellent in my opinion. Joe Ptacek possesses a deep, throaty growl with some nice gurgling effects thrown in. To sum up, this album is not all it's cracked up to be. I actually think their follow up album 'The Bowels of Repugnance' is a lot better. One thing is for sure this is brutal, make no mistake about it. I would recommend this for fans of Deceased, Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse or anyone looking for something heavy and brutal.

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