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Blood Letting

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Album Review

Those who have a limited knowledge of the death metal/black metal field will tell you that all of it sounds alike. But truth be told, death metal has a variety of bands — some totally extreme, some more melodic and accessible by mainstream standards. Bands that are categorized as melodic death metal (At the Gates and In Flames, for example) have — much like symphonic black metal artists — made melody, musicality, and intricacy a priority. On the other hand, grindcore is death metal at its most extreme — and grindcore is exactly what Severe Torture provide on this live album. Bloodletting is stereotypical grindcore — harsh, unmusical, amelodic, ultra-fast brutality with twisted lyrics and deep, guttural, growling vocals that usually render those lyrics indecipherable. Stylistically, this Dutch band is right out of Cannibal Corpse and Carcass, and the song titles (which include "Mutilation of the Flesh," "Decomposing Bitch," and "Baptized in Virginal Liquid") thrive on cartoonish shock value. While live material dominates this 2005 release, Bloodletting offers several 1998 demos as bonus tracks — and whether Severe Torture are live or in the studio, their work is an exercise in bombast for the sake of bombast and shock value for the sake of shock value. Severe Torture's material won't win any awards for originality; anyone who was listening to Cannibal Corpse, Cancer, Necrophagia, Carcass, and/or Deicide back in the late '80s and early '90s will hear Bloodletting and think, "Been there, done that." But the Dutch death metallers are good at what they do, and die-hard grindcore enthusiasts will find Bloodletting to be a decent — if derivative and totally predictable — document of Severe Torture on-stage.


Formed: 1997 in The Netherlands

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Appearing in 2001 with the brutally heavy Feasting on Blood, Severe Torture took the metal world by storm with its thunderous approach and razor-sharp riffs. Although relatively new at the time, the band followed it up with another awesome split disc with established headbangers...
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Blood Letting, Severe Torture
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