Amputation Spree is a rare creature. It is thinking man’s slam. A transcendence of the typical lack of intelligence and innovation such a genre can muster. Not only does Slam typically sound lethargic to me from band to band, but it is also dry and boring from the beginning. I never got into that whole ‘bree’ thing. Amputation Spree, on the other hand, breaks the mold. It basically shits on my opinion that there is no value in slam. Go ahead and listen to his track ‘Messiah‘.
The dissonant guitar line leading into some basic chugging. The drums come in and then you are hit by a clear and guttural voice more advanced then your average pig squeal. The words are more enunciated and structured. Then the song takes a sharp turn and goes into some blast beats and heavy riffing. On paper it doesn’t sound like slam, but it works. It just has the right atmosphere and the right voice.
Amputation Spree has released 3 EPs, 2 of which are available at no charge on Bandcamp. They all have their own feel, but Amputation Spree mastermind Spencer Van Dyk really finds his niche in his 3 pronged attack on religion Three/Inferno. There is a whole bunch of experimentation going on in these three tracks. On ‘The Age of Reason‘ we hear heavily processed vocals with some strange synth interludes all while maintaining a sinister slam attitude. On ‘The Whore of Babylon‘ you hear some clean vocals. It’s not a spectacular innovation, but damn; if cleans started moving into this genre, I think he nailed the execution and sound. It’s all very well done even if it is a tad too far from the tree.
His other EPs Addicted to Beheading Children and Terminal Velocity are very cool too. Compared to Three/Inferno, they lack all of the little gems of experimentation but rather, are more of typical slam approach but again, it isn’t typical slam. There are strange guitar solos akin to Buckethead, doom like drone passages, and even some straight death metal. For 7 tracks, that is an ambitious resume. This one comes highly recommended for fans of brutal death metal and slam.