Three months after the release I find myself in Epicardiectomy territory with their third album Grotesque Monument of Paraperversive Transfixion. The title is as massive and hard to say fast three times as the album is brutal, exactly what can be expected by these crazy Czech’s. I’d honestly forgot about this release as I had it marked down but then it kinda went into the black hole due to a wave of promos in 2019. Reason I came to remember Epicardiectomy’s latest release is because I very recently booked a trip to Prague with my wife for our wedding anniversary (booked time to get a sweet Megaman tattoo there too) and I was like “oh shit I need to take this bad boy on a spin!”. So here we are, a bit late to the party but I am sure it will be a grand party anyways!
So what’s happened with Epicardiectomy since their last offering to the brutal slam world? In 2014 Putreseminal Morphodysplastic Virulency took the world by storm and kinda cemented Epicardiectomy into one of the most promising bands in the genre. However after that the trio lost their original vocalist Tom Vysoký, who was a very important piece of the slam puzzle. I for one thought it would be hard to replace him. The trio has since then been looking far and wide for the perfect replacement which eventually become a very young prospect in Andrew Benc. Not only that they have also become a four-piece act! Serge Gordeev has gone from doing both guitar and bass to being solely on guitar duty while they added another youngster Stan Pozharnitsky on bass. Going from a trio to a four-piece can be challenging enough but doing so while also looking for a new vocalist can be way harder. We will soon get to realize nothing can stop the slam tank that is Epicardiectomy though!
Ah how I’ve missed these crushing drums, that wicked snare and gnarly slam that Epicardiectomy is all about. Having the founding member Milan Moškon still on drums is the bread and butter of their sound, damn does this hit hard and can make you go ape shit on the drums alone. Stan Pozharnitsky does a superb job on bass, actually he makes it more than superb. I would go as far as saying this is the best Epicardiectomy has sounded on that department. Gordeev did it fine but you can tell it’s been given more space on Grotesque Monument of Paraperversive Transfixion to shine. So how has the replacement for vocals done on his first try? Well Andrew Benc definitely nails those gutturals like one could expect in the style Epicardiectomy does. On tracks like “Repugnant Hemicraniotomical Ingurgitation” and “Chamber of Excruciation” he even gets to showcase a bit more variation to his sewer gut-wrenching vocals. Sure I can argue that I did enjoy Vysoký’s deeper gutturals more but Benc is a whole different beast with other tricks ups his sleeve. I am sure with time I will come to embrace Benc’s style more and miss Vysoký less.
They played the safe card when creating this album as it sounds an awful lot like Putreseminal Morphodysplastic Virulency but at the same time who can blame them? They had so much going on behind the scenes this was the best option. If anything this is a good thing, I would say most slam fans have some love for Putreseminal Morphodysplastic Virulency (which was a major improvement from their debut) and this is more of that same filthy candy for you ears. You still have the insanely sick lyrics to come with it too. There is certainly a few things they’ve improved on, especially in the bass department. One major improvement to me, which I’ve always think has been a bit too much, is that there are less samples being played on this album, they let the music talk more. Big win here to me! While some areas have stayed the same and that’s all fine. Right now my biggest fear was that Epicardiectomy would take a few steps back but instead they took a few step forward, yet maybe a bit small and this ends up being their best work yet.
A small note is that they also have what I think is the most brutal album cover I’ve seen in a long time! Who says how the cover looks doesn’t count though? You need something sweet to wrap around the filthy maggot eating insides.
In conclusion there is no need to fear slam fans! The future is bright for Epicardiectomy once again, the young guns deliver and with the long lasting members Gordeev and Moškon to guide them I can only see the band grow from here. It’s quite astonishing such a revamped line-up can still produce one of the heaviest albums I’ve heard in a long time.
Written by J.B.
Label: New Standard Elite
For fans of: Cephalotripsy and Devourment
Release date: December 31st, 2018
Favorite song: Chamber of Excruciation
Score: 4/5 Incredible