Ex Dementia - The Red Mass review

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Band: Ex Dementia
Album: The Red Mass
Release date: October 2009

01. Shadow In The Chapel
02. Mud And Blood
03. Liquid Flesh
04. The Radiant Ravenous
05. Splattervision: Channel 2
06. Belial The Basket Case
07. The Red Mass
08. Dead! Nude! Dancers!
09. Welcome To Hell [Venom cover]

Ex Dementia's new(ish) album The Red Mass is all sorts of in your face. In your face brutal, in your face raw, in your face aggressive, and in your face good. It's one of the most fun death metal albums I've heard this year.

There's no "betcha can't play this" technical bullshit here, no helicopter-sounding double-bass drumming, no blast-beat masturbation. Just straight up deathy, death metal. Death metal that'll make you want to punch walls, throw televisions, and trip running kindergardeners.

Oh, and it'll make you want to mosh and fight. Regardless of your surroundings. In that way, it's accomplished what solid, standard death metal needs to accomplish. It captures the essence of fuck-it drunkenness on compact disc. Take the following hypothetical situations:

You just watched one of those Sarah McLaughlin, sick-n-shaky puppies commercials. You, like the good Christian Eagle Scout you are, go to your local Humane Society establishment to volunteer ASAP. You get the job. After a while, the puppies grow attached to you. They recognize your scent. They love you and you love them. Then one day the bedraggled old Asphyx fan who also volunteers there puts this album on while you're visiting your canine pals in the pen…

You're going to headbutt those puppies. One by one.

You're at your grandpa's funeral. Your grandma, eyes puffy with tears, wants a shoulder to cry on. You oblige. It's a heart-wrenching scene, really. You're pap is proud of you… Then, for some reason, this comes on the church's loudspeaker… You're going to headbutt your fucking grandma. Break that poor woman's glasses. The Red Mass is that kind of good. The old man was old and nanna was being a little bitch. You won't feel bad about it. It's the kind of death metal album that kills remorse on the spot.

Problem is, The Red Mass simply ends too quickly. It's somewhere between being too short and way too short. Which brings me to my biggest gripe with this release: there's just too much filler. On a 24 minute album, there's probably 4 minutes of old B horror movie sound bites strewn throughout. They aren't particularly interesting or funny, they're on for way too long, and they kinda hurt my feelings. Yeah, you heard me. Look, I know death metal fans aren't known for their Mensa-level IQs and achievements in the sciences, but Ex Dementia seems to underestimate us. We don't need constant reminding that an album has a sense of humor. We can figure out that Ex Dementia was going for the whole splatstick, "let's have fun with gore" sort of thing without the outlandishly goofy movie sound bite overkill, thanks. It's kind of insulting.

Nevertheless, the sound bite overindulgence isn't really a huge problem. Yeah, I'm going to shave a few points off for it, but the music is meaty enough. The Red Mass is an upfront, honest death metal album when all's said and done. In fact, its cover art pretty much says all that needs to be said about the music itself; it's unpretentious and harkens back to the old school. And it's fun.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Production: 8


Written on 15.06.2011 by Wormdrink's real name is George and he's an American.

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