2023 has been an excellent year in the combined worlds of slam, deathcore, and brutal death metal, with each new week seemingly surfacing a banger of an album. This rising tide truly seems to be lifting all boats, as a number of bands I’ve followed for years are announcing new albums with heavy hitter labels like Unique Leader Records, 20 Buck Spin, and Transcending Obscurity Records. Adding to the excitement of seeing the scene grow: the gravity shift of up-and-coming bands arriving on the big stage makes room for another generation of bands. The latest contender throwing themselves in the ring (or pit) is a slamming deathcore project from Queensland, Australia known as Vasculitis.
I didn’t even have to listen to a full single before realizing that Masochistic Intestinal Eruption was going to make it into my regular rotation. For one, the slamming deathcore/BDM project has strong shades of Facelift Deformation, one of my all-time favorite bands. Second, Vasculitis’ sophomore album was released by Reality Fade, currently home to bludgeoning groups like .357 Homicide, Colpocleisis, and First Degree Murder. Third, look at that album cover. I’ll listen to almost anything with a vaguely science fiction theme. Expectations were high, but Vasculitis delivers punishing, well-balanced brutal death metal throughout Masochistic Intestinal Eruption without reverting to gimmicks.
Vasculitis eases into the album with a 46-second atmospheric sample. It sets the stage, certainly, but also builds tension for the wall of sounds that greets us in the second track. Like Facelift Deformation, Vasculitis has mastered the art of morphing vocals into another instrument. Lyrics are indistinguishable, the growls so oily and nasty they ooze over the punishing groove of the guitair and drums. Early on, Masochostic Intestinal Eruption makes itself a clear death march for the ear drums, pummeling and yet restrained. A hefty buzzsaw guitar anchors gurgling vocals and lays the groundwork for rapid, almost minute blastbeats and skronky riffs. Unlike most slam or BDM bands, Vasculitis is comfortable lingering in a slower, groovier style, building tension and slowly revealing his skills in the first half of the album. A furious blastbeat breaks the tension in “Violated and Decapitated,” signaling a vibe and pace shift throughout the second half of Masochistic Intestinal Eruption.
Tracks five and six bring a more intense pace into the mix, frequently bursting into blastbeats and riddled with piercing riffs. Downtuned guitars weave their way into the core melody for brief moments, interspersed with skronky notes that evoke the earworms of Parasitic Ejaculation. The ease with which Masochistic Intestinal Eruption jumps from meat-and-potatoes BDM to the more playful flourishes of slam sets the album apart in a crowded scene, especially for the band’s sophomore effort Vasculitis has a wide-ranging set of skills, which is all the more impressive considering that it’s a one-man project. It’ll be exciting to see what comes out of their partnership with Reality Fade.
Masochist Intestinal Eruption feels like slam performed in the style of brutal death metal popularized by New Standard Elite. Production is extremely balanced, with vocals, guitars, bass, and drums playing an equally essential role in building Vasculitis’ sound. Blastbeats and riffs are certainly present, but restrained. The interplay between these elements are exactly what makes Masochistic Intestinal Eruption so compelling - it’s orchestrated, intentional extreme music that engages the listener throughout the entirety of the album, even as it bludgeons the ears.
Masochistic Intestinal Eruption was released on June 9th. Should your stomach desire its caresses, you can grab it from the band's Bandcamp above.