Venomous Concept - Retroactive Abortion review

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Band: Venomous Concept
Album: Retroactive Abortion
Release date: June 2004

01. Weirdo
02. Oink!
03. Rhetoric
04. I Said It Before
05. Freakbird
06. Infest
07. Life's Fine
08. Idiot Parade
09. Hard On
10. Group Hug
11. Anti Social
12. Run Around
13. Smash
14. Monkey See - Monkey Beat
15. Total Recall
16. Braincrash
17. Think? [Japanese bonus]
+ Total War [video]

Venomous Concept is every grindcore and crusty hardcore fan's dream come true as it boasts members who have been in such bands as Brutal Truth, Napalm Death, Fantomas, Melvins and Pain Killer. The very name of the band is a play on words of Poison Idea and indeed, the music on this disc often seems like a homage to that cult ultra-heavy hardcore group. Recorded in just two days in an amateur studio, it is pretty clear that the idea behind this album was not to be original or groundbreaking. Instead, the renowned musicians use it as a way to vent their anger concerning such topics as politics and the commercialization of punk rock, as well as an opportunity to play some seriously harsh old-school hardcore.

Musically this album is basically flawless. We are treated to expertly executed brutal hardcore with many detours into grindcore (think Discharge or the afore-mentioned Poison Idea). Kevin Sharp's screams are absolutely crushing and Napalm Death's rhythm section delivers the performance that we've come to expect from them. It seems to me that Buzz Osbourne's riffs are the real gems of this album though. Besides playing in the usual break-neck grindcore style and coming up with endless catchy as hell hardcore riffs, he also manages to smuggle in the occasional stoner groove, which gives the music an extra dose of heaviness and makes it really interesting to listen to.

Sadly, the lyrics are not nearly as good as the music on this release. They are often too juvenile and archaic, a far cry from the direct intensity of the band's performance. Naturally, since they are all bellowed out in a venomous rasp, we wont really pay much attention to them while listening to the album. Nevertheless, one would expect something more inspired from a grindcore collective of this class. The other problem with this album is that it is too short. Obviously, no one wants to hear a gindcore album that lasts more than an hour but 27 minutes is just too little in this case. There have been albums in the past that had similar running times and were more than exhausting; however, this is not one of them.

Although it has its shortcomings, this album is still really fun to listen to. In a time when the majority of grindcore acts just try to play faster than one another, it is refreshing to see a band that is more focused on attitude than on breaking the world record of 'extremity'.


Written on 15.10.2005 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.

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