Opening things up with a sample from Hostel, Mexico’s Scrotoctomy get right to the point with their debut EP, From Torture To Putrefaction. They are the first Mexican slam band I’ve encountered, but their overall approach reminds of Japanese bands; sounding totally committed with great vocals and slightly wonky production. This is the genre at its purest, and the slams are huge; not quite as sludgy as say Gorevent, but still in very much the same vein, just totally gnarly and decimating.
The guitars and bass are down-tuned and create an appropriately dense wall of sound, but I wish they were louder. They’ve got rumbling low-end aplenty and there are some neat riffs being peeled off, but being a guitar guy I’d like to hear more of them. I do need to single out Omar Garcia’s vocals as some of the best I’ve heard in the genre; a mix of deep pig squeals and a cavernous gurgle that doesn’t sound even remotely human. They’re very prominent in the mix and for good reason; this guy is Scrotoctomy’s not-so-secret weapon. In spite of being totally unintelligible, a good vocalist can make all the difference in a genre where bands tend to sound quite similar.
The one flaw to be found with From Torture to Putrefaction is the drum sound. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the performance, but the drums are mixed so loud that they overwhelm the mix, often drowning out the guitars and causing the whole of the recording to sound overly distorted at times. Of course, this likely won’t be an issue for slam listeners who’ve weathered weird production schemes like that of the aforementioned Gorevent’s Worship Paganism or Bleedead’s Mustma Dorcheme, but newcomers of the genre may want to start elsewhere before tackling this one.
From Torture to Putrefaction is a fine debut that seasoned slam veterans will surely appreciate. Scrotoctomy definitely have the potential and the songwriting tools, as well as a penchant for great slams; if they can tweak their recording technique a bit I predict we’ll soon have a monster on our hands. The EP is officially out on June 10th via the fine folks at Gore House.