Headhunter D.C.
God's Spreading Cancer

If you play death metal, getting endorsed by Possessed’s Jeff Becerra is a bit like getting a nod from American Idol’s Simon Cowell. Headhunter D.C.’s label Ibex Moon even drafted a press release trumpeting the news. While an endorsement like this can raise your profile it can also bring the critics out ready to bat your kneecaps. Consider the challenge met and answered: Headhunter D.C.’s God’s Spreading Cancer is the chunkiest, best sounding death metal album I’ve heard in a while. Part old-school homage, part everything that’s lovable about South American metal (including the Mystifier-style cover) it’s a ferocious romp through all of the genre’s styles and trappings.

Opener “Dysangelium,” sounds cribbed from an Uwe Boll movie and prepares you for the worst. And I don’t know why these guys tacked the initials of our nation’s capital on their name … did they mean B.C.? If you Google the band you’ll hit scores of sites offering help in landing that elusive secretarial position at The Pentagon. These worries are quickly dispelled upon hearing the first track “God Is Dead,” which sounds like a twisted second cousin of Cannibal Corpse’s “Hammer Smashed Face.” Crazed tremolo picking trades places with crunching riffs and screams throughout. “Stillborn Messiah” offers down-tempo Asphyx grooves with Suffocation-style speed. The eponymous track slows down and boasts bread-and-butter death metal that would slot in nicely on The Rack.

There’s staggering variety on God’s Spreading Cancer. Each stylistic change is seamless and each utilizes death metal’ strengths; blastbeat speeds and guttural vocals; slow neck-twisting grooves and punchy solos. The only gripe with this album is the haunted house vocal effects on “Black Miracle” which try to sound creepy but only sound corny. Vocalist Sergio Baloff is the star: he channels Frank Watkins and Chris Barnes and screams at least in the neighborhood of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. Headhunter D.C. has cribbed from death metal’s best in all the right ways.

Death metal has grown stagnant. You’re either trying to sound like a 1990s touring band or a young tech wonderkid. Headhunter D.C. might be older than most readers of this site but make the music sound alive and fresh. No pretense, no bullshit, no compromises – just death metal art that’s skillfully played and in your face. If you don’t believe me then take it from one of the guys behind Seven Chuches.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Justin M Norton
January 27th, 2010


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