Abscess - Horrorhammer CD


As far as the tracks go, "Poison Messiah" could have been an outtake from Chris Reifert's old band; it has the same mid-paced, roiling groove and swagger that was Autopsy's take on death metal. "When Witches Burn" is a doom/death beast, not too far off from the '70s tripping on Autopsy's "Retribution for the Dead" ep. It's not all self-cannibalism, though. "Hellhole" is a thrasher/proto-death number in the Sodom/Kreator-vein, but sludgified, with completely unhinged vocals from Mr. Reifert. The punk numbers tend to alienate the death metal die-hards but they fit seamlessly into the sickness. "Another Private Hell" is a mean and violent hardcore song that seems to heft some of the "fuck you" 'tude from hatemongers like Negative Approach while keeping it fuzzy and downtuned. Speaking of bands that embody the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" philosophy, it might be odd to cite the Ramones as an influence on a record as ugly and loose as this, but "Four Grey Walls" is four buzzsaw chords and a catchy refrain that (cleaned up a bit and given the right vocals) could almost pass for one of the tough late-80s Ramones tracks.