Pissgrave – Suicide Euphoria: A Review

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The name Pissgrave appeared in our consciousness as a whisper last year. Pissgrave, Pissgrave. They released a vulgar seven track demo of raw Death Metal, notable for pitch-shifted vocals over extreme instrumentation and the obscene cover on the cassette. Pissgrave, Pissgrave. The whisper increased to a roar as Pissgrave landed a coveted opening spot on a short tour with Dead Congregation, whom Profound Lore labelhead Chris Bruni called “the most important band in death metal today”. Limited quantities of their 2014 demo sold out almost immediately, and reports from those concerts surfaced of Pissgrave’s intense live performances played at eardrum puncturing volumes. This year, news appeared on the usual social media outlets of Pissgrave’s signing to Profound Lore Records. First, their logo appeared on Profound Lore’s Facebook page with no other news. Later, information regarding their debut album Suicide Euphoria surfaced as well.

We live at what some would consider the apex of music fandom, with an ever-expanding and nearly unlimited supply of music at our fingertips within seconds (though not everyone shares that view). Last year, I heard the Pissgrave whispers and became infatuated with the band. I listened to the three songs available to me (above, here, and here) over and over and over again. Not satisfied with only a fraction of the demo, I ordered the cassette from a distro in Belgium. Fast forward to present day: the band with a penchant for morbid album covers is back.

Proof of ownership.

On Suicide Euphoria, the band avoids the heady intellectualism of skronk (dissonant death metal), and the polished technicality of many modern death metal bands. They don’t fit well into the brutal death metal camp occupied by sub-genre titans Defeated Sanity, or into the sepulchral death metal movement like Grave Miasma. They also avoid the amalgamation of styles like many bands of today, bands that play death/grind/hardcore/whatever. Pissgrave play raw death metal – a mean spirited razing of guitars, drums, and bass.

Suicide Euphoria spans nine tracks over roughly thirty minutes. Four songs from their 2014 Demo have been repurposed here: “Fields of Scattered Bones”, “The Second Sorrowful Mystery”, “Prevail in Hell”, and “Blood Fog”. Pissgrave recruited Arthur Rizk to produce, who is known for producing Power Trip, Inquisition, and Prurient’s 2015 record on Profound Lore, Frozen Niagara Falls. Having listened to the demo obsessively, there is a big boost in quality- just don’t expect a polished sheen from a big name producer here. The production is still thick and murky, like an abandoned morgue.

Pissgrave adopt an unusual approach to vocals compared to many death metal bands. They are wildly pitch-shifted, and form a hellish miasma against the claustrophobic atmosphere (check out the intro to “Fields of Scattered Bones”). They don’t vary much. They don’t need to. As an aside, unfortunately, the vocals are placed ever so slightly lower in the mix than on their demo. Their almost constant presence is a huge plus here. I couldn’t imagine them with different vocals.

Suicide Euphoria generally moves at a faster clip than mid-paced acts like Bolt Thrower or Hail of Bullets. The band plays aggressively and profanely. They don’t set out to dazzle listeners with futuristic riffs. As Toilet ov Hell author Simon Phoenix so eloquently put it, “there is a certain charm to their viciousness”. Guitars shred into riff salad on many of the tracks, but moments like the intro to “The Second Sorrowful Wind” point to an era of hightop white Reeboks. The album could use a few more of those moments. Many of the songs blur together. The viciousness is consistent but highlights are scarce.

Due to the onslaught of new heavy metal to choose from on a weekly basis, record label PR has taken to calling every album the Heaviest, Most Crushing, Most Masterfully Played, or in this particular case “one of the sickest, rawest, most depraved and violent death metal releases of the year”. Rookie bands are often compared to legends. Understandable. It’s an effort to make releases matter in a sea of quality music. Heavy metal blogs follow suit, proclaiming many notable releases albums of the year, until the following week’s coverage. It’s how they get you to read them (I’ve done the same damn thing). Suicide Euphoria is a solid debut. Pissgrave are good at what they do, and reminder, their vocals are fantastic. This is a good album. It’s just not a great one.

You can check it out for yourself. Suicide Euphoria is out August 7th.

pissgravesuicideeuphoria

Pissgrave | Suicide Euphoria | Profound Lore Records | August 7th, 2015

 

 

Cover photo via

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  • Tyree

    You nerds are on a roll today. Good shit.

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt

    Who decided running this at lunch time was a good idea?

    http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view5/2593869/lloyd-gag-o.gif

  • Do people actually enjoy looking at the ridiculously imagery, song titles, and lyrics? I realize most of it is just a gimmick to garner attention, but who can stomach it?

    Don’t get me wrong, the song “Impaled Vibration” make my jimmies tingle in the best way, but they should drop the gore.

    Those vocals are trill though, ND. Byah.

    GL

    • Void Dweller

      Dude, it’s fucking death metal.

    • Tyree

      Go listen to Gojira.

    • tertius_decimus

      Imagery, song titles, and lyrics seen in “gore-ish” genres are in most cases fillers to fill the empty void. Musicians tend to think there’s something lacking in their art… in most cases it’s lyrical connotation. For me, music IS the language, so I see lyrics as some sort of badly done surdo-translation which is absolutely unnecessary. If we could switch off audio tracks like layers like in Photoshop, I’d kill most vocal lines in music.

    • Bozamole Jim

      Refresh for wisdom.

  • Tyree

    The Budd Dwyer cover photo was a nice touch too.

    • Void Dweller

      Suicide always adds a nice touch.

    • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

      Dead would be proud!

    • That video always gives me a really shitty feeling, despite it not being particularly visceral compared to what I’ve seen in horror movies. I guess it is just knowing that it is real.

      • Tyree

        It’s crazy to think that was on live television too.

  • Void Dweller

    Good shit.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Title could really use a NSFW warning with those images

    • The Fish Boz

      For those with wimpy jobs. Good thing I work in a morgue.

      • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

        It was unsettling for me, since we don’t have death here in Best Korea.

        • The Fish Boz

          Just unicorns!

          • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

            And floating castles made of diamond and gold for every family.

    • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

      It mentioned Pissgrave in the title. There’s your warning right there! Also, Not Safe When Eating Chocolate Pudding Or Peanut Butter would suffice.

  • The Fish Boz

    Great review, Ed. This was very spot on. Pissgrave’s necrocharm ends up being their downfall too, because the songs blur together. Still a good release though.

  • The production in the first song you posted sounds like ventilating aluminium planks in a windy day, jajajaja.

    Great review, now I get it 🙂 The muffy production helps a lot to the compositions to make them more unsettling and ‘morbid’.

    The vocal delivery is insane. This Impaled Vibration have serious riffs.

  • Also, if Chris Bruni is reading this: Be friends with Edward.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    SiQQ

  • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

    Awwwwwwww, good, wholesome family entertainment!
    “Honey, refund those tickets for tonight’s Frozen On Ice show, we’re taking the kids to see Pissgrave!”

    “Don’t forget to get them a couple of shirts and posters of that demo cover to hang over their beds and over the kitchen table!”

    Tyree, the Toilet Master Of All Putrid And Filthy Merol, got me into these guys, and love em. Very bottom heavy sound, tight as fuck, and those vocals are a special kind of filthy and demonic.

  • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

    Speaking of offensive artwork, came up with this little ditty for Fark last night.

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt

      Ha! I saw that one.

      • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

        You’re a Farker too? I’m under kling_klang_bed

        • Pagliacci is Kvlt

          I just commented on it.

          • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

            Mwahahaha, slowly but surely, the Toilet is infiltrating Fark!

          • Pagliacci is Kvlt
          • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

            Lol, as chance would have it!
            Been a member and regular for about 13 years now. Got you added to my faves, btw. Even after all these years, I forget that that and several other features even exist on there.

          • Pagliacci is Kvlt

            You are now favorited as “Best Korea Flushketeer.”

          • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

            Thanks!

    • Void Dweller

      Nice. At least Bobbi Christina wrote her own songs.

      • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

        Liked her cover of Bobby Darrin’s ‘Splish Splash (I Was Taking A Bath)”.

  • It’s a shame those Satanic Dog Bark vocals are corny because everything else about them sounds real good. I get that the vocals are part of their schtick but it’s killing my vibe.

    • Not totally related, but, to me:

      Old Carcass>>>>>>>>>>>Pissgrave

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4-Ya_Xa3f8

      • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

        More than sure that Pissgrave would admit some Carcass influence.

      • Oh yeah, I would say this has something to do with it. Sounds like someone’s doing diarrhea skids across the entire track.

        • Tyree

          Not a fan of goregrind I take it?

          • Goregrind is an acquired taste I think. The vocals get pretty outrageous a lot of the time.

          • Tyree

            The pitchshifted shit doesn’t bother me, it’s that pig squeal crap that I can’t tolerate most of the time. Regurgitate, Last Days of Humanity, Dead Infection, Hemorrhage, and all those classic goregrind bands are A+ in my book.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Are there any good pig squeal bands?

          • Tyree

            You are asking the wrong person Jack.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Ever listen to Benighted?

          • delicious band

  • Bozamole Jim

    “This is a good album. It’s just not a great one.” Spot on, dude. I’ll have to hear more of the album to make a final judgement, but I think you’re right. It’s enjoyable, but it’s not legendary.

  • Malted Hate

    Great great band.
    But ,besides the spot-on logo, fuck that artwork. It’s both lazy and disgusting. The tape, not the album cover. The album cover is just lazy.

  • I like Pissgrave. I like Edward. Do I like Pissgrave only because I like Edward? No, but I’d not have heard Pissgrave if not for Edward. I like Pissgrave AND Edward.

  • Waynecro

    This is the kind of shit I’ve been blasting in my garage gym during workouts lately. My neighbors likely are befuddled and terrified (terrifuddled).

  • CT-12

    From what I’ve heard of the album already, I completely agree with you Ed. The vox sounded way too loud in the mix to me, and overall didn’t really live up to the expectations I heard too many people build for them. Either way, I still haven’t listened to this album a ton, so I’ll give it a fair shot soon enough and make my final judgment from there. Thanks for the review!

  • The band has some of the most legitimately disgusting artwork I have ever seen. I still want have their demo but I would also need a cassette player in order to play it. I shall acquire it one day.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Xan are you in the Facebook group? If so tag me in a post there.

  • Cockypock Aioli Singularity