With a line-up featuring John Cooke (guitar, Malevolent Creation, Venomous Concept, Iron Witch, sometime-Napalm Death), Adam Clarkson (bass, Salam Rages), Tom Dring (drums, The Magpyes) and Chris Reece (vocals, HorseBastard), you know right from the off that this is going to hurt you very hard, in the face. This apparent underground mob of supergrinders sprung right up out of the bowels of Liverpool in mid 2012 with the simple aim of inflicting deafening chaos upon all willing to surrender a pair of ears toward their merciless din. Lined up as the first release from Baitin’ The Trap Records (brainchild no-less, of Iron Witch’s bearded bass assassin, Rick Dixie Owen) Luciferian Deathcult is a murderous hit n’ rampage of a debut EP, blitzing away everything in its path and taking less prisoners than a teletubby on muscle-relaxants.
There’s a sense as the careering opener Play Stupid Games and Win Stupid Prizes kicks down the back door of your local Northern boozer that something new is being born. Yes, you’ve heard that Extreme Noise Terror-meets-Krisiun chainsaw-mangling pump-action riffage before, but probably not with such a lumbering sludge undertow beneath its razor-sharp hull. As Chris Reece bellows and yelps over the carnage like a pack of dogs being dragged towards an abattoir, it’s apparent that this is purist grindcore being passed consistently and religiously through the meth-fried brains of Iron Monkey’s great legacy. What may appear to be grindcore-centric, filthy madness from the outset conceals a brooding sense of something magically punk-rock at the heart of everything that Corrupt Moral Altar do. Stray Dog initially comes at you like Eyehategod after a solid fortnight on the tiles, before crashing headfirst into a gauntlet of down-picked insanity. The punishing Power Whore and the boogie-bound Politics is a Bargain Between Beggars both lend you the eerie and unfamiliar notion that whilst you’re embroiled in some immensely technical metal supremacy, you’re still having great fucking fun nutting your skull against a wall along to the groove.
Dring’s drumming throughout the record becomes the catalyst of everything that forces this band to continually plough forwards as he triggers his bandmate’s spasms with some huge double-kicks, a symphony of blastbeats and bone-scrapingly languid doom-hits all expertly mingled together like graduates at an arse-licking convention. My sole niggle with the band’s sound is that the snare, at times, does sound a little like lukewarm rainfall on an empty tin of Roses. But at the same time I’ve no doubt that if the same relentless beats were played against my own precious forehead then I’d quickly resemble the shot of Hitler’s face in the closing massacre scene in Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards. So I’ll shut my trap.
Flattening the Cultural Pyramid sounds like a bunch of shark terrorists taking on some octopi mafia in the murky depths of the Atlantic as that ridiculously savage guitar snaps through your spine while Reece screeches his gospel about a hypothetical one world government. Profundo Rosso is perhaps the pinnacle of the band’s warped-sludge approach; slowing down the bassline to a crawl as the rest of the band delay their collective input until a colossal riff breaks in with less than 30 seconds of the track left to hammer it home. Closing out their mud-spattered carnage with the perfectly titled You Don’t Have to go to Clown College, the foursome again confirm that this is not just grind by numbers as Cooke leads them on a brutal rampage which sits edgily twitching on a plastic chair in an AA kickoff meeting next to Entombed, Napalm Death and Agoraphobic Nosebleed.
Normally, grindcore is a metallic step too far for me as a genre, but Corrupt Moral Altar’s ferocious infection of sludge to an otherwise frenetic mix allows me to kick open a beer, crank it loud and shake my neck skywards towards the gaze of the lord of thunder. Judging from the near universal acclaim that this debut CD, clad in its fascinatingly bleak-designed cardboard coffin, has received over the past few months, you’ll hopefully be hearing a lot more from Corrupt Moral Altar very soon whether you like it or not. Uncle Lucifer would be so proud…
Scribed by: Pete Green