Leng Tch'e
Death by a Thousand Cuts

I admit that I don’t have that much of knowledge (if at all) in grind. Sure, when I was young and vulnerable for all sorts of influences I listened to Napalm Death and Carcass from the tape that I stole from my brother, but I found the Sepultura, Dismember and Cannibal Corpse songs more entertaining. So, needless to say telling something about these releases can be compared to making your first porno when you’re still a virgin and are yet to even break your voice.

Besides, due to my young age at that time I had no idea where to obtain more of these mind polluting records and I was too busy running outside beating dead birds with sticks anyway. Anyhow, now when I’m listening to albums that have a slight hint of nostalgic sound in them, it’s almost like going back in time to those carefree days when all those pretty doors seemed to be open for you in the future; a well paying job, beautiful girlfriend, your own house…

And this is when Belgium’s Leng Tch’e comes in with their Death by a Thousand Cuts album for the newly founded Italian label The Spew Records. First thing you pay attention to is the mesmerizing cover artwork where a person is licking the sharpened edge of a knife while looking proud of the multiple stab wounds on his chest. It’s truly a nice piece of art worth showing to your beloved grandmother when she’s inquiring you for your general wellbeing. Musically, there’s everything that you are looking from a release like this. Groovy riffing, menacing drumming spiced with occasional blastbeats and low end grunting noises from the era of Hammer Smashed Face. Actually, the use of voice isn’t just limited to vomiting, but we also get to hear whiny screaming which highly resembles Andy Rooney on crack when he finally finds his wife in bed with two repairmen. Perhaps, Death by a Thousand Cuts doesn’t hold any big musical surprises under its sleeves but the good old ‘to the point’ mentality suits the album perfectly. Just like the lyrics where the guys openly show their love towards the world, humanity and such antics as honesty.

18 songs (+1 “hidden”) crammed into 30 minutes, featuring such great song names as “Cockporn” (great intro), “Strangled by Underwear” (great lyrics) and my newly discovered personal favorite “I Know Where You’ve Shit Last Summer” (Wes Craven feels loved). And of course, three of those 30 minutes are given to the highly amusing Monty Python (if I’m not horribly mistaken) comedy bit featuring the word “fuck”. Not only that but there are also hints of various individuals and TV shows. For example “Mosh of the Clowns” ends in rather familiar notes which could be taken out from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or some other cartoon of the same caliber. With “T.P.” it’s not too hard to figure out whose trademark line we’ll get to hear in a rather disturbing accent. Now, such things as silly song names or humorous attitude are not rare in the world of grind nor death metal, but it’s clear that the band had a great time making the album and it’s great to see that the good spirit can also be felt by the listener. The guys might not be the most technical shredders in the world, but they surely know how to make an uplifting record. And it’s not just the lowbrow humor that stimulates the certain areas of the brain perfectly, but also the music in itself. The two elements support each other resulting in a rad album that will not only cut your intestines in half and crush your bones – it also does those horrible things in a way where you can’t stop laughing at your own miserable end.

I’m not sure how this will rank up in the world of grind, but it doesn’t really matter either. The main point is to have a good time and in that Death by a Thousand Cuts will be a classic to look back to with great warmth in your heart. Just like the very first moment when you finally realized that Matti Kärki’s screams from Like an Ever Flowing Stream wouldn’t stop echoing in your head anytime soon (not before you’d start killing people, anyway). As Bill and Ted would put it: Excellent!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
May 10th, 2003

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