Serial Butcher
Brute Force Lobotomy

Well slap my ass and call me Sally, Belgium’s Serial Butcher just surprised the hell right out of me with their sophomore album for Unique Leader Records, Brute Force Lobotomy. Though I had previously never heard Serial Butcher before, I pretty much could guess their sound, this is a Unique Leader release after all. So as I pushed play on my stereo, I got ready for a brutal death metal album with some kind of technical flair, be it just a smidge or a full on widdly, widdly, fretboard wankfest was still to be shown. What I actually got wasn’t too far off from my predictions. Brute Force Lobotomy is very much a brutal death metal album with a nice semi-technical flair, but what I didn’t expect was the old school American death metal influence that is slathered all over this album. This overt influence really helps in making this more than just a standard brutal tech–death album, and lends to making Brute Force Lobotomy a much more fun and even memorable listen.

Imagine taking the staple Unique Leader sound and melding it with a heavy dose of classic Floridian death metal, i.e. Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Deicide, and Malevolent Creation, and mixing in a tad of early Psycroptic, and you won’t be far off of Serial Butcher’s attack on Brute Force Lobotomy. Picking an album highlight is really a tough chore, as all 47 minutes of this ten track affair brought a smile to my face and a crick to my neck, and that, in my book, proves Brute Force Lobotomy to be a winner. My biggest, pleasant surprise came in the form of an underlying melody in much of the song’s riffs and movements within the songs. This is represented superbly, on “Born on a Chopping Block”, where melodic riffing builds in a simple progression, with a sound sample of a saw buzzing and a baby crying, underneath the guitars, that is just flat out awesome.

Whether it’s the Cannibal Corpse meets Suffocation slams of “Hypovolemic Shock”, the slow picking intro, leading to fat brutal grooves in “Fresh Frozen Females”, the Schuldiner-esque influence in the interplay of “Worm Buffet”, or the depth achieved with the various tempos and ideas played out in “Facialized by a Flamethrower”, Serial Butcher does a fantastic job at showcasing the band’s knack of knowing when to lurch, and when to lunge. The one drawback I find in Brute Force Lobotomy is the standard, done to death (pun intended) gore infused lyrics. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some good stab, hack, slash, kill prose as much as the next guy, but truth be told, this material really deserves better and screams (no pun intended) for something with more lyrical depth.

All in all, as far as brutal death metal albums go, Brute Force Lobotomy has everything going for it. With a heavy, yet clean production, a great guitar tone, stellar musicianship with well-defined riffs that result in memorable songs with catchy, brutal grooves, and vocals with the low/high growls and screams that compliments the material much like Glen Benton’s vocals did on the earlier Deicide releases, and sometimes brings to mind Matthew Chalky (Mephistopheles/Psycroptic), and it’s clear to see that Serial Butcher have really brought their  game on Brute Force Lobotomy, and crafted one fine brutal death metal album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
January 12th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Iwein

    Well written words. This band doesn’t get the praise they deserve.


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