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Good old-fashioned death metal albums are becoming increasingly hard to come by circa the early 21st century. But just when you least expected it, along comes a group like Cretin. Although the Santa Cruz-based band was first formed in 1992, the group never got around to issuing a full-length recording (as its members played in other bands -- including Dekapitator, Citizen, and Exhumed -- and their bassist enlisted in the Marines). Everything finally fell into place nearly 14 years after their initial formation, as Cretin issued their debut release, Freakery, in 2006. Coming from the Relapse label, you know that noise has to play some sort of part in Cretin's sound, and it's certainly detected in the cymbal-crashing-heavy drumming and guttural vocals. Like most death metal releases, however, the songs sound very similar to one another. That said, Cretin doesn't run out of steam at all from front to back -- the intensity remains in overdrive throughout, especially on such tracks as "Creepy Crawlies" and "Daddy's Little Girl." And for that alone, crusty death metal veterans should enjoy sinking their teeth into Freakery.

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