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Tennessee Murder Club - Human Harvest

Tennessee Murder Club
Human Harvest
by Daniel Fox at 06 March 2014, 10:55 PM

True to their name, TENNESSEE MURDER CLUB fires off round after round of true American Death Metal from the South on their sophomore release, "Human Harvest". While doing well to prove themselves in the underground death metal scene, in the vein of DEICIDE and MORBID ANGEL, they strive to incorporate visual personifications of fear in equal parts to their no-apologies brutal brand of Death.

"The Pact" comes off straight away as DEICIDE-esque, respectfully, mind you. An example of my preferred modicum of Death Metal would be in exactly this fashion; brutal but engaging, chaotic but tight, and vocals that perfectly balance intelligible diction with raw, coffin-clawing aggression. In fact, Nick's vocals are some of the better Death Metal vocals I have heard in a long time. "Ol Dead Eyes" was quite possibly my favorite track in this release. It comes across as a different kind of heavy; in the instrumental sense, it is crushing at just the right moments, but it is on another level, atmospherically, compared to the remainder. It manages to blend in sickeningly enjoyable quantities of melodies and keyboard atmospherics; some that remind me strongly of DIMMU BORGIR's 90's material (before them, in my opinion, 'diluted').

"Backwoods Killbox" seemed slightly more experimental than previous tracks, and I noticed a much larger range of creative riffs in the arrangement. The abrupt changes to dirge-like chugs have a hypnotic effect and once again you're yanked back into the fold by the hair; musically water boarded. Quite frankly, you never know what to expect with this track; a kill box in its own right. "Widowmakers" is a deliciously evil-sounding track with powerful riffs broken up by jagged, melodic fills. It follows a progressive theme that I noticed (imagined?) forming in the album, in which each track progresses slightly further in a tangential direction to the previous. Intended or not, I must commend them on the composition.

Death Metal doesn't just have to be a 300 bpm technical wall of riffs to be brutal and fitting of the name. In fact, I much prefer it when bands diverge from the cliché and explore relatively untouched territories; I believe that is what this band is well on the way to achieving.

4 Star Rating

1. Birth of a Martyr
2. The Pact
3. Infestigation
4. Human Harvest
5. Death Warmed Over
6. Ol Dead Eyes
7. Wormstench
8. Backwoods Killbox
9. Horrow in the Sticks
10. Widowmakers
Nick Murphy – Vocals
Chad Petit – Guitars
Jason Ellsworth – Guitars
Josh Ferrie – Drums
Jake Carlson – Bass
Record Label: Nailjar Records


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