Over the past few years, there have been many bands hyped to be the “next best thing” and a high percentage of those have fallen flat.
Not SANGUISUGABOGG, since their first demo / EP “Pornographic Seizures” which was released by the almighty Maggot Stomp records in 2019 near enough all pressings of vinyl, cd, tape have sold out.
Now is this a band that everyone is just jumping on for cred or is “TORTURED WHOLE” one of the best brutal death metal albums of 2021??? You’re damn right it is.
Hailing from Ohio USA, mixing all the classic death metal in a melting pot with acid trips & psychedelic mushrooms SANGUISUGABOGG are able to craft an album that invokes brutality but at the same time, one of the most groovy albums BDM has seen in a while.
Opening the album with the first single “Menstrual Envy” (which by the way has one of the most inventive videos a band created in years, featuring Troma film cameos) show us from the first few seconds that they aren’t here to play.
Hearing Devin Swank bellow out the filthiest growl while the rest of the band Cody Davidson (Drums ) & Cameron Boggs (Guitars), also with the adage of new bassist Ced Davis start the song with the sickest groove, heaviest & rawest drum tone & perfectly dialled in guitars.
A slew of pitch harmonics woven into the chunky guitar riffs as well as great drum patterns makes the opening track the kind of song that lets you know you’re in for a good time.
Ending the track off with a guest vocal appearance from legend Roger J. Beaujard (Mortician) which blends nicely with Devins vocals, like the appearance from Roger you can hear the Mortician influence through the album which is a big plus from me.
Heading into the second track “Gored In The Chest” this track is pure slamming death metal to me, the raw unbridled early 90s sound of bands like Devourment, Internal Bleeding & Dying Fetus. Yet again a flurry of pitch harmonics blending with the pogo style riffing matching a great percussive drum beat all leading into a great solo bass section when the band drop out & hit back in on a dime. Great songcraft on this one.
“Dragged By A Truck” is just straight up a caveman song, knuckle-dragging riffs, leaning into the classic Cannibal Corpse sound that goes by quickly but it’s all good. 3 for 3. Looking good.
Then we head into the first of 2 electronic instrumental tracks on the album. Reminding me of early John Carpenter & Goblin film scores “Pornographic” & “Interlube” are brilliantly made & would fit on any gore movie soundtrack but for me, I wish the band had used these 2 tracks to write more heavy material for the album. That is honestly my only criticism of the album because of what SANGUISUGABOGG as a band creates. I just want to listen to multiple albums worth of this refreshing brutal music.
Now my favourite track on the album “Dead As Shit”. This is everything I want from brutal death metal. A groove that makes me want to smash my head through a table, a vocal hook that didn’t leave my brain for a good week & enough technicality to the riffs it makes your mind boggle.
The first half of the track is just pure death on the slower side but it’s suddenly with a switch of drumbeat reminding me of the great goregrind like their idols Mortician the track just starts to get crazy, picks up the pace and changes the song to make it even better!
“Tortured Whole” the title track is a little more laid back, still keep all the elements the band have show us this track is just a fantastic showcase of what a band are capable of putting in the time in the studio to great a track & album that captures that live feeling of a band but still have that perfectly clean production where every riff, drum hit & vocal is heard.
With “Dick Filet” we get what I believe is the best vocal performance from Devin, all throughout the album we are pleasantly gifted to some insane vocal ranges but this track is what I feel is his best, mostly in the lower guttural range during the whole song but no way is it stale like a lot of the newer “slam” bands, this is a mix of old and new in one vocal approach & Devin has it all.
“Tortured Whole” as a whole (pun intended) shows us even though in a sea of hype, stale bands & a genre that has had its fair share of trends come and go if you are able to write an album that touches upon your influences & springboard from those.
You are able to write an album that not only will please the old school death metal fans but those who love the new age of slamming death.
If you live under a rock and haven’t heard of SANGUISUGABOGG go pick up “Tortured Whole” as I can promise it will surprise & and most probably be on your top 10 of 2021.
I know it will be on mine.
Review: Joseph Mitchell
“Tortured Whole” is out via Century Media on 26th March 2021
01. Menstrual Envy
02. Gored In The Chest
03. Dragged By A Truck
05. Dead As Shit
06. Tortured Whole
08. Dick Filet
09. Urinary Ichor
10. Posthumous Compersion
11. Felching Filth
Cody Davidson (Drums)
Cameron Boggs (Guitars)
Devin swank (Vocals)
Ced Davis (Bass)