Saturday, September 7, 2013

Polluted Inheritance - Ecocide

There's death metal, there's Death Metal and then there is DEATH METAAHL. Polluted Inheritance's Ecocide falls squarely into the Death Metal notch. There is a lot to like about Ecocide: good riffs, awesome production, vocals with a killer snarl and a crisp clarity but the album's biggest flaw, a lack of unique personality, jettisons an otherwise commendable offering once again to the racks of dusty could-have-beens; an appropriate place where this release has in actuality sat for over twenty years - and probably could have sat for another decade - without much negative effect on the population of individuals who eat up these re-releases with the tenacity you'd find in a pair of sex-deprived nymphomaniac garbage collectors meeting for the first time over a split bag of old porno magazines. Vic Records' re-release tacks on a handful of tracks from an early demo to drag the release over the original run-time of thirty nine minutes.

Tracks like "Memories of Sadness" remind me of Death's Human paired with the thrashier elements of an album like Dismember's Like an Everflowing Stream though Ecocide has neither the aggression of Dismember's classic or the powerful blast of determination that Human exemplifies. Multiple listens will inevitably lead to tracks like "Fear" or it's shadowing track, "Stillborn" jutting out like a precipice into the waters of general normalcy with a strong introductory riff however they then will fall back into the album's habit of  complacency in which portions of indistinguishable composition reign supreme. Ronald Camonier is impressive as a guitarist - as is Erwin Wesdorp - but his vocals are the highlight of the album. I was hooked on them from second track "Dissolved" and the crystal clear bellowing of the second verse's proclamation that 'eyes transform into liquid, flow down the face like tears.'

In fact, across the album memorable lyrics are one of the surprising aspects of the album - how often are lyrics the most memorable component of a death metal album? With Camonier's powerful baritone growls, it's easy to hear some of the album's more bizarre moments, such as in "Memories of Sadness," a track which hints at sexual abuse or the awkward phrasings of "After Life" such as 'I am lying here being dead, it feels like having sweet dreams.' While Camonier elicits from his throat an impressive performance, the album offers a lot of positions for some vocal experimentation, something unfortunately absent from Ecocide. Aside from the lyrics, favorite tracks include "Fear" which reminds me of Death's Leprosy with the production of Death's Human and "Eaten." Also awesome is final track "Look Inside," and it's incredibly groovy introduction and twisted riffs.

Ultimately, if anything applies to Ecocide it's that there's a good possibility that more than ten listens will thoroughly implant the sensation of this being an underrated album with a lot to chew on. Even after six or seven listens, I find I enjoy the album more and more with each listen, even if I know it's not really a landmark release or mandatory listening. There are a lot of ditches and nooks to find, highlighted by a tight and balanced production which provides great separation between instruments. Ecocide is an enjoyable old school death metal album, worth a listen for anyone that's into early 90's death metal. It's also a good starting album for anyone trying to get into Death Metal, because the vocals - usually the offending factor - are less likely to hinder the enjoyment due to their clarity.

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