Order from Chaos

Stillbirth Machine/Crushed Infamy

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    5
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Stillbirth Machine, the first official album from this guitar/bass/drums trio, is a collection of up-tempo thrash/black/death metal songs characterized by muddy production and raspy, hateful vocals, the latter courtesy of frontman Pete Helmkamp. Clearly not striving for finesse, the band barrels through its songs in a ragged, almost punkish fashion, with distorted bass and periodically erupting, whammy bar-driven lead guitar adding to the overriding sense of ugliness. Crushed Infamy, an 18-minute demo tape from 1991, is tacked on at the end of this CD. Ironically, it features cleaner production and, at least in "Crimes Against the State," some memorable songwriting -- something that is unfortunately a bit lacking throughout most of this disc. On the other hand, this disc will have its adherents among those enjoy especially raw, primitive metal, who are likely to consider the atmosphere and, again, the overall ugliness to be more important than catchy riffs or fancy musicianship.

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