Friday, October 26, 2012

Lividity - ...'Til Only the Sick Remain (2002)

As common as this whole blood, cunts and semen schtick has become in the wake of Cannibal Corpse, Lividity can certainly hold claim to the title of Midwestern Maestros of Misogyny, because their music has long explored the themes of violence and pornography to a fault, and very often paired the two into an aural snuff film. Though the band had formed in the early 90s and pretty prolific that decade in terms of EPs, splits and deep underground live recordings, 'Til Only the Sick Remain was only their sophomore studio outing, following up The Age of Clitoral Decay from 2000. Lividity are honestly a band that has grown better with age, probably peaking with their most recent record To Desecrate and Defile (2009), but there is certainly an audience for their past works.

The obvious comparison is Cannibal Corpse here, with a similar momentum to that group's faster material on the first 3-4 albums, but Lividity manage to sound somewhat more than surgical thanks to that clean and thinner tone they use when nailing out muted tremolo patterns. These are balanced off with a lot of leaden, dense grooves that recall Obituary and their ilk, but once again pretty polished in terms of the mix. The vox fuse an irascible snarl with a deeper, toilet bowl guttural timber, not unlike Deicide but far more brutal and barbarian in delivery. All told, I would say that the riffs to songs like "Unrelenting Homicide", "Snack Size Tits" and "A Woman's Place is on My Face" are reasonable well structured, with a balance between the blasted elements and chugging breakdowns, and you can envision that their live sets went over quite well since they throw the pit more than a few bones. The bass lines and tone aren't all that impressive, but you can hear them rather well enough. The drums feel a little too sterile in my opinion, so clean are the kicks that I could grill and eat my breakfast off them...and there's isn't much atmosphere, but the band compensates by kicking up some intricate leads, and half-decent riffs that don't feel wholly derivative.

As usual, you've got a load of perverse samples here, some of which are pretty obvious like Cheech Marin's 'Chet Pussy' character in From Dusk Till Dawn, used to 'glaze' the intro to "Second Cumming (Pussy Lover Part 2)". They're funny enough I suppose, and well matched to lyrics like 'cum will keep spurting till my nuts dry up' or 'dick now throbbing in your face' which are about as metaphysical as Lividity is going to get here, not much more than the rantings of some serial killer-crazed, porn-addicted teenager in his junior high notebook (someone call a counselor!) Feminists, PMRC expats and Bible thumping soccer moms will probably want to avoid this, as its obsession with the violation and mutilation of various bodily 'inputs' is both cruel and sovereign, but those accustomed to the genital goregrind and desensitized brutality will find nothing out of the ordinary. Business as usual, with a blood splattered dildo. I think what holds me back from really appreciating this is the production, and the general lack of face melting riffs, but 'Til Only the Sick Remain is at least true to its name, and not an incompetent 30 minutes of morbid Midwestern masturbation from the same scene that produced freaks like Deaden, CorpseVomit and Fleshgrind.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10] (oh, how it excites me)

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