Gory Blister - Earth-Sick
BakerTeam Records
Technical Death Metal
10 songs (33:45)
Release year: 2012
Gory Blister
Reviewed by Goat

Italian melodic tech-deathers Gory Blister impressed me a great deal with their 2009 offering Graveyard Of Angels, an excellent album that mixed technicality with catchiness almost flawlessly. So good was it that listening to Earth-Sick, the follow-up, I'm immediately disappointed that they haven't managed to top it - not that they haven't made a very good effort. The title track simply blasts into life after intro The Breeding, exhibiting every ounce of the melodic and atmospheric sensibilities that so impressed me in the past, as well as the ever-present expert grasp of technical wizardry. Gory Blister remain one of the few tech-death bands capable of using choruses, excellent as ever at repeating a melodic theme without boring or lessening the impact of the surrounding technical chaos.

The general post-apocalyptic, everyone's-dead-of-a-horrible-plague theme works well, helping give the touches of atmosphere a melancholic touch which works beautifully. HIV is a ridiculous choice of song title even for a death metal band, yet the atmosphere lends it that extra something which, given the twisty songwriting full of melodic hooks and flourishes, works. I challenge anyone not to feel a chill down their spine at the cello that opens World Damnatory, a track that continues into crushing death metal that careens from brutality to melody wonderfully - Cryptopsy, take note of how it's done! The rolling gallop of Soul-Bourne Maladies sees the band dip into outright brutal death metal with some of those riffs hitting like a hammer to the face, and vocalist St John dipping to a throaty grunt, even a melodic interlude and more of that lovely soloing partway through the track doing nothing to lessen the aggression. The most modern and instantaneous track present is Serpent Verse with its groovy hooks, but even that is complex enough to give casual newcomers a nervous breakdown.

After a few listens when you begin to get used to the album, it becomes clear that not every track is showing the band off perfectly. The rumbling, crushing Decanted Embryos has a seething threat of violence beneath the dips into groove, yet the surrounding blasting feels disjointed and something of a let-down. It's still excellent; the wild soloing partway through sure to bring a grin to your face. It's that same soloing that stopped me feeling almost bored in the lacklustre Dominant GenEthics, although being fair to the band the good far, far outweighs the bad. Even though it's not up to Graveyard Of Angels, Earth-Stick is still a fantastic album that I recommend wholeheartedly, showing the band's skills off well and proving that sometimes, being second best isn't a bad thing.

(edit - A member of the band has emailed me to point out that Karl Sanders of Nile was a guest vocalist on the album, featured on Serpent Verse and Soul Borne Maladies. Apologies for missing this originally!)

Killing Songs :
Earth-Sick, Plague And Pray, HIV, World Damnatory
Goat quoted 81 / 100
Other albums by Gory Blister that we have reviewed:
Gory Blister - Graveyard Of Angels reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
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