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Bludgeon- Devoted to Lunacy

Devoted to Lunacy
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 18 December 2018, 6:02 AM

After forming in 1994 and releasing a handful of demos and a split EP, BLUDGEON have now released this 39 minute long beast of a full length upon the Metal underground. To put it simply, this album is fucking distasteful—every thing from the cover art work to the lyrics is just putrid and profane.   And you know what?  Good.  After all, this is Brutal Death Metal, a very specific subgenre for a very specific Metal fan that was born out of a genre that was already known to be anything but weak.   If you are reading this review, then you are probably already in the mindset that it would take to enjoy something like this but even then I’m not sure it would prepare you.  No question about it, this is without a doubt the most archaic and brutal album I’ve heard this year.  As a reviewer, I have been sent dozens upon dozens of albums to listen to throughout the past year, and that isn’t even to mention what I have found on my own.  Indeed, I listen to a lot of Metal and a lot of bands; my tastes run the full spectrum of what the genre and its many sub genres can offer. I say all this not to brag (but I really am bragging) but to show you, dear reader, how serious I am when I say how completely visceral this album is especially for the insane speed in which the band propels themselves at a near constant rate.  They make ORIGIN seem like a Doom Metal band, such speed demons they are.

Is the album perfect?  No.  The production needs some work because the vocals are too buried in the mix for my tastes.  I also prefer humans behind the drum kit but then again I’m not convinced any real person could keep up with the devastation this trio can create.  Still, the album is impressive in it’s sheer lack of uncompromising values for the sake of throwing all the guile and guts into Death Metal that can fit before it explodes like a festering corpse left out under the sun to rot. “Fascination With The Lifeless,” is the first full length track and as such it gives a basic overall vibe of what the rest of the album will accomplish.  ZACH’s vocals are so fast and guttural, I’m amazed he can still form words.   TIM and CHRIS play their stringed instruments just as fast and I can only imagine that after playing some of these songs live, their fingers are probably nothing more than shredded sausages.  When the guitar solo hits around the 2:19 mark, however, it becomes clear they don’t play fast just for the hell of it—every note, no matter how furiously it is pushed thru their amps, has a purpose and even some technicality to it.

Cognizant Dichotomy,” has a stunning open, with the lead guitar going off like flashes of lighting among the storm of the near impossible speed of the riffs.  ZACH throws in some higher pitched growls and they are truly freighting. As the album progresses, signs of a more dynamic range begin to crawl from the melted entrails from which it birthed.  “Malefic Volition,” is a clean acoustic track that is actually rather moving—it reminded me of DEATH’s “Voice of the Soul,” in that it creates a moment of pure beauty in a sea of blood with chunks of rancid meat floating in it. The following track, “Before The Taxidermy Begins,” is slowed down (I use that phrase very loosely) enough for actual honest to god riffs to form.  In under three minutes, this song crams in more riffage than most albums have in their entire run.  The middle part of the song has some very clever guitar leads as well, technical yet sophisticated. “Erogenous Catamenia,” is more a slow grind for these guys but it really fleshes out their sound and showcases just how talented the Brutal Death Metal genre can be.  With the unfortunate demise of SPAWN OF POSSESSION,  I think BLUDGEON is a nice contender to take over.

Aside from lo-fi Black Metal, BDM is probably the most underrated sub genre in Extreme Metal but BLUDGEON make a strong case that it shouldn’t definitely not be hid under the muck, even if that is the sound it is going for.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Fascination with the Lifeless
3. Cognizant Dichotomy
4. Lust The Carrion
5. Dreaming of the Meathooks
6. Hideous Maformations Through Incest
7. Cattleprod Episiotomy
8. Malefic Violition
9. Before The Taxidermy Begins
10. Erogenous Catamenia
11. Tenebris Aeternum
Zach – Vocals
Tim – Guitars, Bass, Drum programming
Chris – Guitars
Record Label: Permeated Records


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