Sometimes you know just from hearing a band’s name what you’re in for. Morbid Angel. That doesn’t sounds peaceful and serene, does it? It sounds sinister. And unfortunately now, it’s also all marred with beats and other techno crap. But whatever. I think saying Iron Maiden gives you an idea of what’s in store. Napalm Death is a name that pretty much sums up that band’s music as well, isn’t it? Don’t have to think too much about that one.
In that line of thinking, along comes another band whose name is just perfect for them: Bone Sickness. It makes me think of stinking, rotting to the core, ugly, diseased death metal that sounds nasty, lacks any polish whatsoever, and is there to make your stomach lurch. Lo and behold, the band’s new effort “Alone in the Grave” pretty much confirms that those early inhibitions are true. This stuff is miserable in the best possible way and sounds like it was conceived in the dirt beneath a graveyard. That’s right, beneath it.
The Olympia, Wash., quartet found a perfect home for them with 20 Buck Spin, a label that would understand what these guys were going for as well as anyone else out there (with the possible exception of Dark Descent), and they’re offering up this band’s follow-up to their two-track EP that bubbled to the surface in 2011 and made its stinking presence known to those attuned to the underground. This seven-track, 18-minute collection (served up as a 12-inch and digitally, with Chips & Beer Magazine’s Hand of Beaver taking care of artwork) may be repugnant and disgusting, but it’s also really well played, as their guitar work from Chase and Rusty is searing and often really fun, and the rhythm section of Sam (who also handles vocals) and Mitch (also pitched in some vocals) are there to pound you into dust. Sam’s vocals? Ugly, menacing growls that sound infernally born. It’s pretty much perfect.
This filth-infested gem gets going with “Submit to Decay,” a washed-out, scuffed up fucker with strong guitar leads reminding of the glory days of Autopsy and Carcass that eventually ignites into a speed attack scratched up with gruff growling. “Strange Obsession” erupts into a cloud of smoking death, with fast, furious playing, and more beastly vocals that lurch underneath all of the sound. “Paranoid Delusions” is brutal and scraped up, with the speedier parts reminding a bit of Entombed, and doomy and gut-busting death leading the way. “Scraping the Bones” begins with a Black Sabbath-style melody, but that ignites into a full-blown assault with carnage and throat-pulverizing growls.
The title cut hits on a slower tempo that also nods its bloody head to doom, simmering in its pot of plasma while being raked raw by heavy riffing. “Death and Dismemberment” sounds pretty much like you expect it will, and that’s a good thing because it wholly satisfies with its lightning-speed riffs, pissed off, spat-out vocals, and menacing attack that feels bruising and neck-jarring. Closer “Tied to the Snake” is the oddball of the bunch, veering more toward thrash metal and calculated riffing at the start, but even that gives way to a volcanic eruption, vicious vocals, and soloing that reminds of the days when Slayer worried more about evil intentions than their drummer’s paycheck.
If you like old-school death metal and grindcore and are sick of what those genres have turned into for the most part, consider Bone Sickness a refreshing breath of charnel air. Their music is ugly, their artistic intestines are basically spilled onto and sticking to the floor, and they seem to have no desire to clean up their gory mess. This is true death metal, something that diehard fans who know their shit will gorge themselves to death on, and that hopefully will put a nail into the coffins of the millions of pretenders in the world.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/bonesickness
To buy the album, go here: http://www.20buckspinshop.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.20buckspin.com/site/