From Crotch To Crown
01. Only Taste For Decay
02.Battered To The Grave
03.Crowned In Entrails
04.Dismember The Transgender
05.Under The Patio
06.From Crotch To Crown
07.Glorify Through Cyanide
08.Set Forth To Annihilate
09.Reduced To Stumps
10.Compulsive Beheading Disorder
The 80’s had video nasties, the 90’s had violence-inspiring video games, the noughties had reality television and this decade has the selfie, but throughout there has always been metal. Now this may seem a tad abstract considering this is an album review but one only has to look at the cover art of Prostitute Disfigurement‘s first album in nearly 6 years to understand that even though times, trends and fashions change, there will always be good old fashioned death metal, whether the general public wants it or not. From Crotch To Crown may not be reinventing the wheel but it is without a doubt a hefty 40 minute slice of honest, no frills aural violence. This is a good thing.
After a fortunately brief hiatus, Holland’s Prostitute Disfigurement are back delivering brutal music from a part of the world more often associated with the more relaxed things in life. As mentioned above, there is nothing unexpected or alien to fans of death metal included here. Album opener ‘Only Taste For Decay’ comes straight off the bat with a ferocious riff and double kicks that never let up for the entire duration. Tremolo picking and guttural vocals are found on every dirty corner alongside tempo shifts and worryingly frantic leads. All of these are staples of the craft that these Dutch death perpetrators have been practicing for more than a decade and they execute them well.
From Crotch To Crown sounds like death metal — the rhythm guitars are sharp when they need to be and subterranean when required. There are no triggers here and the drum kit sounds like it is being given the loving attention it deserves; cymbals crash in the distance, ping alongside riffs and beat fast and hard through nearly the whole run time, but where is the bass? C’mon! There are a few nice touches in the production of the album, as well. ‘Glorify Through Cyanide’ has a middle section that is anchored by a creepy sample which adds an extra element to a song that up until that point was fairly uninspired. Additions like this and the prolonged female screams of ‘Set Forth To Annihilate’ quickly turn album filler songs into something more. Where many death metal bands are guilty of overusing samples and soundbites to a point of oversaturation, Prostitute Disfigurement simply use them as tools to create more atmosphere and leave a more lasting impression.
A death metal record cannot be reviewed without talking about the musicianship involved. ‘Crowned In Entrails’ and ‘Reduced To Stumps’ contain really great use of time signature and tempo changes. While still possible to bang your head and windmill that nasty long hair that’s been growing for what seems like decades now, there is something unsettling about a riff that can’t quite be tapped along to with your feet. The lead guitar work somewhat unfortunately is somewhat hit and miss. The erratic, dive bombing solos in ‘Compulsive Beheading Disorder’ and ‘Glorify Through Cyanide’ don’t make much sense and seem to come out of nowhere whereas the leads in ‘Dismember The Transgender’ — the standout track of the album with it’s dirge like groove and haunting guitar wails — and ‘Under The Patio’ are wild, unpredictable, and really good fun. The solo in ‘Under The Patio’ actually pulls the song out of middle track obscurity and gives it some individuality.
The hit and miss aspect of this album is really what separates it from being a death metal classic and being a solid death metal record. Again this is mentioned in the negative points of a review, but the fretless bass is really only heard clearly three or four times throughout, which is a great shame. The vocals, while delivered in a textbook fashion, are layered unnecessarily in several songs and almost take over the mix. Alongside some lazy lead work these elements bring the enjoyment of From Crotch To Crown down a few notches.
This is not to say that this is not a good record. After multiple listens it still has several really crushing tracks which evoke the death metal of the 90’s that old timers still rant and rave about today. Perhaps it is just the cobwebs being shaken off but the band seem a little like they are refreshing some old ideas. There is still plenty here to be excited about though, Prostitute Disfigurement apparently have a great live show and after checking this album out there are sure to many new fans flocking to see them. Do not let this back and forth review dissuade you from picking it up in February when it arrives via Willowtip Records.
Prostitute Disfigurement – From Crotch To Crown gets…