Homicidal Ecstasy

Century Media
rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Black Market Vasectomy
02. Face Ripped Off
03. Pissed
04. Testicular Rot
05. Hungry For Your Insides
06. Skin Cushion
07. A Lesson in Savagery
08. Narcissistic Incisions
09. Mortal Admonishment
10. Proclamation Of The Frail
11. Necrosexual Deviant
12. Feening For Bloodshed

It was arguably little more than a ridiculous name that lured death metal fans into their grimy slipstream, but SANGUISUGABOGG were deservedly hailed for the sheer knuckleheaded belligerence of their 2021 debut, "Tortured Whole". Having weathered the departure of guitarist and titular figurehead Cameron Boggs by means of a shrewd reshuffle, the Ohio foursome remain unlikely leading lights of a never-ending death metal renaissance. That grotesque, cartoon name and that magnificently indecipherable logo definitely help, but as they proved on their first full-length and reinforce with demented delight on its follow-up, SANGUISUGABOGG have the riffs and the swagger to back up the silliness.

Once again punctuated by a snare drum that sounds like a bullet being fired into a frying pan, "Homicidal Ecstasy" is a seriously obnoxious piece of work. There is great craft on display here, too: SANGUISUGABOGG nobly honor death metal's ancient gods by focusing on writing catchy riffs that make people want to run through brick walls with eerie consistency. But at its core, this is an album designed to soundtrack beer-fueled violence and a million ill-advised bong hits. "Pissed" is just that: a fuming, sluggish blur of jagged-edge chug, with vocalist Devin Swank spraying black phlegm in all directions. The best song about compromised genitalia anyone will hear this year, "Testicular Rot" lumbers and reels like some mad, drunken reptile, as a hint of blackened bile seeps into the formula. "A Lesson In Savagery" confounds with lurching polyrhythms, multi-tracked vocals and an inspired mid-song detour into sludgy syncopation.

Best exemplified by the vicious, razor-slash ambush of "Face Ripped Off" and the multi-tempo hammer attack of "Mortal Admonishment", "Homicidal Ecstasy" is profoundly heavy in that disgusting, scabby-skinned way that only the most out-of-control death metal bands can muster. There is a nastier, more serious edge to this second batch of songs, too. As much as "Black Market Vasectomy" and "Necrosexual Deviant" have goofy titles, the sheer weight SANGUISUGABOGG exert with every riff is absolutely no laughing matter. Meanwhile, guitarists Drew Arnold and Ced Davis are far more inventive and eccentric than their band's reductive reputation suggests. As twisted and jarring as this album's artwork, the closing "Feening For Bloodshed" is a four-minute circle pit with a bad attitude: this band's USP in a nutshell, perhaps, but also the mere tip of a bloody and slightly psychotic iceberg. The 'bogg marches on!

Author: Dom Lawson
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