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Jesus Wept - Psychedelic Degeneracy

Jesus Wept
Psychedelic Degeneracy
by Oli Gonzalez at 16 May 2022, 5:48 AM

One glance at the album artwork, and I quickly realized this is not going to be a pretty listen at all. I mean, any band with a song named “Surgical Punishment Symmetry” is going to be pretty brutal, as well as having one those ‘what does that logo say’ sort of logos – if you know, you know! I’m interested yet equally nervous to check out this Detroit based death metal act, JESUS WEPT. Their Bandcamp makes reference to ‘death metal’ and ‘90s death metal’. Maybe we’ll something like SUFFOCATION, OBITUARY? Maybe even influences from the early Swedish melodic death metal scene.

The opening to “Surgical Punishment Symmetry” is spooky yet cinematic. With heavy reverb, I can hear the voice over of a doctor/surgeon describing the anatomy of the spinal cord. This is calm. Eerily calm! I’m expecting an in your face 200bpm+ style grind core style blast beat to reveal itself. However, I can hear a more interesting groove being laid down. It takes a while before we hear any vocals, but that’s clever. Sometimes you have to let your instruments do the talking. When C.Colaianni does introduce himself, I can hear a high pitch shriek, dripping with primal venom and angst. I like this! This vocal texture and slow groove is definitely reminiscent of OBITUARY. The introduction of synth tracks in the chorus gives them a more modern edge too, so it’s not a copy and paste old school death metal track, but a successful attempt at making this genre there’s. Not being afraid to shake things up, the last 30 seconds or so almost doubles in speed and we’re treated to an all out death metal frenzy. It’s short enough to make me hanging on for more, and I eagerly switch over to the next song.

They continue down the faster route in “Dispossession”. No room for fancy intros, just straight into the action. There is some insane technicality on display from the instruments, reminiscent of CANNIBAL CORPSE. The band then return to a much slower deliberate pace, which I’m starting to think is their strength. Interestingly, the guitars provide what seems to be a 00s metalcore era feeling in parts. The chord progressions, scales, overlays. Again, providing more modern elements and showing an ability to mix in other genres across the spectrum.

I’m excited to hear “Psychedelic Degeneracy”, the album’s title track. I note how the vocals and guitar riffs lock in during the verses, something I don’t see often. Even if you can’t understand the lyrics, you can still feel invested in that rhythm. The highlight for this song is the solo though! Or multiple solos. There’s elements of guitars doubling up in harmony. The tone  truly is sublime too! Sharp, powerful, and soaring above the rest of the mix. They’ve definitely gone for emotion and feel rather than needless complexity.

The closing to this album, “God Fetish”. If you’re looking for a throwback to the golden era of old school death metal, laced with sublime modern production, this is it! There’s nothing slick of fancy in this song. Just good old fashioned in your face riffs and crushing intensity. Then sadly, that’s it. I’m glad in a way though. Too many bands who start out try desperately to pad out a full album’s worth of material and stretch themselves too thin. JESUS WEPT however have definitely gone for the quality over quantity approach. I’ll definitely keep an eye on this next release. I just hope that they can build off this platform and start to reach their true potential.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Surgical Punishment Symmetry
2. Dispossession
3. Psychedelic Degeneracy
4. God Fetish
Lineup:
C.McCoy – Drums
N.Barnes – Bass, Vocals
R.Versace – Guitar
C.Colaianni - Vocals
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records
     


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