Mention the city of Liverpool and most people tend to think of The Beatles and football. Ask a metalhead, and the names of Carcass and Anathema will surely pop up soon after. Although not exactly at the forefront of the UK metal scene, Liverpool has no shortage of underground talent to offer. Scare Tactics have been around since 2010 and have played both Bloodstock and Download festivals. Reaper have been thrashing around since 2011, and Techy Prog types Reperium are steadily building a name for themselves, as are the heavier Oceanis.
However, currently crushing these puny mortals underfoot are Sludge/Grindcore mentalists Corrupt Moral Altar, a band who have absolutely no concept of the word “subtle”. Formed in 2012, the band has released a couple of EPs, a split 7” with Euro-Grindcore outfit Hicks Kinison, and one full-length album, Mechanical Tides. This, their second full length, Eunoia (both Season of Mist) pretty much carries on where the last one left off, except without any of the gentlemanly politeness.
Consisting of thirteen cacophonous cuts and lasting for just over forty utterly demented minutes, there’s a good chance you will feel absolutely nothing else for the rest of the day after sticking this on. Just the faintest memory of confused white noise as the afternoon passes you by, leaving you staring at a single meaningless spot on the wall before finally coming to your senses hours later, in need of food and quite possibly the toilet.
Melody-free opener ‘Human Cry’ feels like opening the door to your bedroom but finding yourself thrown straight into the jaws of hell instead. ‘Engineering Consent’ is the perfect song for police to play through loudspeakers in a siege situation, forcing the captors into either give themselves up, or more likely in this case, shooting themselves repeatedly in the faces, while ‘Crime and Disease’ is what it must feel like to be beaten repeatedly about the head and neck by a malfunctioning giant robot armed with bricks wrapped in barbed wire.
On virtually any other record, ‘Night Chant’ would be a punishing blow to the senses, but here it’s somehow just a welcome relief. ‘Survivor’s Guilt’ is like being trapped in a room with a naked fat man smeared in human excrement, wielding a meat cleaver and a maniacal grin, and such are Chris Reese‘s agonisingly harsh vocals that ‘Born in the Caul’ is like desperately trying to catch your breath after almost drowning, only to find the air filled with white-hot ash and flesh-eating lice.
‘Burning Bridges and Burning Homes’ is like being chased through a derelict housing estate by a pack of glue-sniffing teenage mutants, ‘The All Consuming Self’ manages to somehow convey the exact sensation of a rhinoceros tap-dancing on your genitals, and ‘Rat King’ is like being slowly impaled arse first onto a golfing umbrella and then having someone open it.
‘Destroying Everything You Believe In’ is like being inside an industrial washing machine on spin cycle forever, ‘Body Horror’ is like losing five pounds but finding a brain tumour, and all you can say about ‘On Judith’s Birthday’ is poor Judith, while closing track ‘Five Years’ is like experiencing a catastrophic rectal prolapse from the inside of your own bottom.
For any other genre, this would all seem like a horrifyingly damning condemnation, but here it’s an absolute triumph. Eunoia is the Grindcore soundtrack to Jack Nicholson‘s character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Non-stop electric mayhem from beginning to dribbling end.