Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: Internally Mutilated - The Godfuck

If most of the gorenoise scene went in a more overtly goresplattered musical direction, typified by sludgy, slurring walls of distorted putrescence, Internally Mutilated might be one of the only bands who followed in the footsteps of Anal Birth, being both obviously gorenoise but paying tribute to the microgenre's noisecore roots. In many ways, you could say that Internally Mutilated's music is an intentional successor to Adam Rotella's primordial stew: it has much of Anal Birth's deranged, frantic, chaotic delivery, with a sloppy, clearly improvisational sense of "composition" and a broader, less bass-driven sense of tonality. But while it's designed with Anal Birth in mind, the project's roots come from an era where gorenoise is a known quantity, and as such, it extends to levels of depravity quite different and possibly more severe than Anal Birth ever managed.

The most apparent thing that distinguishes Internally Mutilated from the rest of the gorenoise scene, apart from the obvious references to Anal Birth, is that it's one of the only projects in the style to incorporate live drums. Instead of the unstoppably blasting drum machines so typical of gorenoise, Internally Mutilated incorporates... unstoppably blasting drums, but played by a real live human (well, perhaps not "live" considering said drummer committed suicide about a year ago.) While the drum performance isn't altogether substantially different from what would be ordinarily programmed in this style, the shotgun-like blast beats and the sheer ferocity with which they're played adds a distinct element of animosity to the proceedings that's usually absent in this style. The ultra-short microsongs with their minimal but incredibly fast and violent drumming are given an edge of misanthropic rage through the percussive performance- next to Anal Birth itself, this is as violent and aggressive as gorenoise gets.

The session bass provided by Styv (of Vomitoma among a million other projects, and the proprietor of Splatterfuck Tapes on which this demo was released) is only somewhat audible, which seems another reference to Anal Birth; it's there to provide an additional layer of chaotic, churning noise and nothing more. The real star of this music, though, is the vocal performance. Instead of the standard ultra-pitch-shifted gurgles or even the staticky roars of Anal Birth, you're presented with a truly demented, screeching, effects-laden vocal style that sometimes resembles the clicky "predator" vocals of Heinous Killings, sometimes sounds like Last Days of Humanity in their most horrifically brutal moments on "Putrefaction in Progress," and other times still resembles the myriad of unsettling noises uttered by the various "singers" in Intestinal Disgorge. At all times, though, it's unnerving, almost unbearably intense, and definitely one of the most unique vocal styles ever heard in gorenoise.

Like most gorenoise tapes, elaborating on the structural style of this music is basically pointless: there is none. Most of the tracks on this tape are sub-thirty-second bursts of blast beats, gurgling/shrieking, and buzzing bass noise, and all are clearly improvised. What's worthwhile to talk about is the aesthetic involved: in particular, that it's one of the most savage and ferocious ones in gorenoise. Gorenoise, for all its extremity and weirdness, tends to sound a little bit passive; you drown under the sludgy sonic waves, and the restricted wavelength of musical delivery often keeps it from being a truly ensnaring experience. Internally Mutilated, on the other hand, is an unchained animal: multidirectional, perpetually snapping its jaws at everything around it, with the off-kilter drumming and completely terrifying vocal/bass combo making something much more immediately threatening than in most of the genre.

Most gorenoise projects are basically just reiterations of a single aesthetic; what this means is that if you have one Internally Mutilated release, you basically have them all. I have more than one and love them all, but if I had to lay it out for you, "The Godfuck" is probably their most essential work. If Anal Birth is the gutter sound of the angriest and most bitter dregs of society, Internally Mutilated is genuinely sociopathic and desperately looking for the first opportunity to tear the listener limb from limb. It goes without saying, of course, that it's highly recommended.


  1. I hope you continue these gorenoise reviews. It's nice to see cogent writing about the genre. Is this release still available anywhere? My few Google searches were unsuccessful.

  2. i bought it when splatterfuck tapes was still operating. well, i say "still," but it may very well still exist. the gorenoise scene functions about as you'd expect: distros that change names, disappear, and reappear constantly, bands that pop in and out of existence just as quickly, and people in general who don't operate with quite the level of professionalism you'd hope for.

    a better bet would be to message TheCount; he's kept a better track of where the distro guys have gone than i have.

  3. Yeah, I suspected that the album would be difficult to find based on my limited knowledge of the scene and the fact that, as far as I can tell, the band's sole real member was the deceased drummer. I look forward to the review.