Expanding Toward Collapsed Lungs

It’s taken all the way to September, but we have a late favorite for what very well could be the brutal/slam death album of the year. If you were disappointed in the last LP from USA slam death kings Devourment (as I definitely was), then Saprogenic are here to cure what ails you. They’ve put out an album that excels in all the areas that the aforementioned Devourment fell painfully short. It’s a brutal as hell, slammy, catchy, fantastically performed showcase of all that is great about brutal death metal.

Thankfully wasting no time with a boring intro, “Removing a Phantom Limb” (props for a cool track name) starts things out with a bang. You get a beefy dual guitar attack and guttural vocals that are tastefully low, a solid bass line, and a drumming output that’s only goal is to cause absolute chaos (more on that later). But then you get the next track, “Eat my Heart”… and oh folks this is where things get really fun. Starting out with a thunderous yell backed by some furious blast beats, before settling into a nice lurching groove, this song has it all. But it’s near the end, around the 3:30 mark, where you get a slamming outro (would that be a ‘slamtro’? New metal buzzword?!? Oh nevermind) that is just pure awesomeness. There’s really no other way to describe it. It goes on for nearly a glorious minute, punishing the listener with its effectiveness and staying power. It’s one of the most head-bobbingly perfect chug riffs I have heard in a long time, made all the more enjoyable by drummer Jerrod MacPherson dropping in some impressive double bass patterns to back up the guitars.

“Choking Victim” sees the band blend a little more grind into their style, before “Below Death” shows off all the best this quintet has to offer. The massive guitar grooves are the most obvious, but pay close attention once again to the double bass patterns in the first 2 minutes. MacPherson shows off a Jason Bittner-like, masterful control with his feet. He can carpet bomb you with 32nd notes, but also mixes in intricate fills and double bass runs that separate the good drummers from the truly great ones. He’s without a doubt the star of this entire show.

The title track is another notable beast, with the album closing out with a nice Dissection cover of “Night’s Blood”. In addition to the drumming it’s worth pointing out how impressive Jeremy Swanson is on vocals. In a lot of brutal death you get the bath water frog burps that can get old very quick, but Swanson has a deep bellow that really fits the music perfectly. He’s even decipherable at times, but just enough to add to the music instead of taking away from its brutal impact.

I cannot recommend this album enough to fans of all genres, as it’s that good. It clocks in at a little over 40 minutes, but I could have listened to metal this good for 140. Hopefully they don’t wait another seven years between full lengths, as these Detroit natives have a fantastic formula to work from and expand on. The album name might be a little confusing (what exactly does it mean to ‘expand toward collapsed lungs’?), but if it’s anything at all related to the aural dessert that is this album, I’ll gladly take seconds… or sevenths.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
September 13th, 2013


  1. Commented by: mars

    I have the other two albums. No reason not to get this one. But will it knock the latest Defeated Sanity out of rotation? My most recent go-to for satiating sick slurpy, blasty needs.

  2. Commented by: Luke_22

    Good write-up. Brutal death is a bit hit or miss for me but really digging what I’ve heard of this so far. “Satiating sick, slurpy, blasty needs” sums it up nicely Mars.

  3. Commented by: E. Thomas

    This is solid, but the Katalepsy is far and away the best brutal dm album of the year for me

  4. Commented by: Kevin E.

    I agree on the Katalepsy, but I thought technically that album was released in 2012?

  5. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Jan 2013 via Unique Leader

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