Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Broken Hope - The Bowels of Repugnance (1993)

Broken Hope's sophomore full-length, The Bowels of Repugnance was released on Metal Blade Records in September 1993. It builds on the sound that they created with their debut album, while streamlining things a bit. Though my introduction to the band came with a dubbed copy of Swamped in Gore, this was the first one that I was able to find in a store. Overall, it's not quite as good, but still a solid record.

The Bowels of Repugnance often relies more on the blastbeats and sections with the rolling double-bass, emphasizing these elements moreso than on Swamped in Gore. Several of the songs are quite brief, compared to those on the previous record, and utilize the aforementioned techniques. Yet there are still plenty of old school Death Metal riffs to be found here, even in these little snippets of violence. "Coprophagia" and "Remember My Members" begin with a lot of blasting and guttural vocals, but soon regress toward the primitive. Regardless of the 'filler' tracks, this record still offers a good amount of pure Death Metal riffs. Songs like "The Dead Half", "She Came Out in Chunks" and "Hobo Stew" owe a lot to the band's 80's roots. The latter even features some fairly sombre solo work. Even "Preacher of Sodomy" begins with dark riffs that evoke the spirit of early Slayer or Death. "Waterlogged" is a rather memorable track that relies on a certain type of groove, so it is likely to be one of the first songs that those new to the band can digest. "Drinking the Ichor" is a melancholic instrumental piece that is kind of reminiscent of Metallica's "To Live is to Die". The final track is another worthy mention, "Felching Vampires" is well-constructed and consists of typical old school riffs and builds a sense of tension at times. With raspier vocals and less double-bass, this would fit well on an album from '88 or '89 with ease. Also, don't get confused by track six, which is an unlisted (and obviously untitled) instrumental. 

Like with Swamped in Gore, The Bowels of Repugnance has more of a deep, percussive sound. Nevertheless, there are still enough decent riffs to be found on here, making it Broken Hope's last worthwhile offering. Death Metal was, more or less, dying by this time anyway, so the decay in quality is to be expected. Either way, for solid American Death Metal, don't neglect the band's first two records.