Background: Goregrind, as a subgenre of the heavy or extreme metal scene, is usually described as a fusion of both grindcore and death metal. It arguably all began with the rise of English band Carcass in the late 1980s, and moved along to other sections of our world in the decades that followed. Most notably, goregrind is significant for its themes related to violence and gory imagery...in addition to the death metal-like instrumentals and grind influenced vocals and song structures.
Band History: To date, this album marks the seventh full-length release for this act since their conception in 1990. Oddly enough, it is often noteworthy to mention that they initially formed as a trio in the early 1990s under the name "Devourment", which was soon changed thereafter. Most of the group's songs revolve around surgeries and, of course, gore' and the band is now operating under the Relapse Records label as well. They also originate from Madrid, Spain and feature rather comically violent artwork, thanks to contributions from one of their guitarists, Luisma.
Album Breakdown: Haemorrhage's latest release titled We Are The Gore is an ongoing tradition of the band's usual journey through the bowels of the genre known as goregrind. It is typical, it has become clockwerk to many, and it is cliche and brutally over-the-top as ever can be. Yet, there still exists a certain type of charm that lies within the depths of this not-so-subtle modern goregrind effort. Sure, we've heard albums like this numerous times before...however, one can't help but appreciate the energy, fluidity, and ambition that this release holds for much of its 35 minute or so running time. The gory artwork, combined with the try-hard aggressive music and violent imagery, makes for a somewhat good time and a slight breath of fresh air for dedicated genre fans.
Best Parts: First off, the initial positive to mention about We Are The Gore is the devious placement of its few, but impactful, audio samples. Unlike many other releases of this caliber, Haemorrhage's new offering does not go overboard with the inclusion of audio or film samples, which is greatly appreciated here. Their incorporation is subtle, yet makes for a brief but lasting impact. Secondly, the album has pretty good structuring, which is another factor not common in the genre mainly due to the "grind" aspects. The tracks on here are longer than usual, making for a decent amount of storytelling and transitioning between sections. The structures primarily consist of verse-chorus-verse-solo-chorus, however, the parts themselves coming together make up for all of it. Third of all, the instrumentals on here are pretty stellar. The decent production may help with this one, but the members overall do a very competent job with keeping up and performing their respective parts. The riffs are various, the solos make for a good break, drum involvement is solid and even some of the bass lines stuck with me. In all, this is a pretty well-composed and executed effort from a technical standpoint, for the most part. Most of the charm comes from these elements that are unusual of the genre: aka the good production quality, stellar instruments, and decent, clean structuring/formatting among others.
Cons: Now, we come to the album's faults. First off, as mentioned previously, Haemorrhage is doing their thing per usual on here. They are not innovating or necessarily doing anything new on this record. After all, what you'll hear on We Are The Gore is something you've surely listened to countless times before if you're a longtime genre fan. First time goregrind listeners may be impressed, but if you've stuck around for a while then this is really nothing inventive or new. Next up, the vocals, for whatever reason, didn't impress much. Sure, they're better than a lot of other low-end bands within the realm of this genre; however, it's just not convinving. Also, it all seems a bit contrived and repetetive for much of it. Finally, while the music itself makes for a good time, after a while it all begins to sound the same, which is more of a fault in the genre itself honestly.
The Verdict: In conclusion, We Are The Gore, the latest release from established Spanish goregrind act Haemorrhage is one that is recommended for newcomers to the genre, mainly due to its accessibility and production...as well as longtime fanatics because of the album's quirks and modern charm. While it does get old after a while and despite the fact that there isn't much new to be found here, We Are The Gore still finds success in "reinventing the wheel" and reintroducing old genre tropes in an effective manner, as well as in the art of adding some newfound energy, fluidity and structure to the ballsy genre. This release ends up being brutally effective as a modern offering, so savor the gore while it lasts.
Fave Tracks: "Gore Gourmet", "Miss Phlebotomy"
**Haemorrhage's new album titled We Are The Gore is out now!**
Check it out...
Review by: Dave Raffy
-Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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