I’ve been staring at this band on Amputated Vein Record’s website for quite some time now. Around July/August of this year, I decided to finally look up their music. This American death grind band known as Goratory apparently split up a year or so ago (there isn’t much about them on the net). During their career that started shortly after the turn of the century, they released three albums that received high praise by the few critics that even heard it, as well as developing a good-sized fan base (for an underground metal band) that spanned from America to Europe and other random places around the globe. Before I actually start talking about the music on THIS album, I should say that if I just did compare/contrast stuff with the previous record, it would be just pointless nonsense because, well, I haven’t even heard it. So basically, this is the only thing that I’ve heard by them, so the only comparing that I will be able to do is with the death grind genre itself.
Goratory is one of those bands that have one or two really fucking good and strong qualities, but not really any REALLY bad qualities. Because I’m just itching to talk about one thing in particular, I’ll start with that. The quality is one that actually isn’t as common in this type of really brutal music as it may seem: their bassist. Their bassist not only has an extremely unique playing style, but he’s also just outright awesome! Let me take all the things I like about their bassist and list them all off to you individually.
The first thing is his style of playing. Those of you that have been paying attention to what’s “hot” in the brutal death/grind world should be well-aware of Cerebral Bore and the increasing attention they’ve gotten over the past two years. The bassist for Goratory plays that same really technical jazzy style that you hear Cerebral Bore’s bassist doing. I love how on this album (and on Cerebral Bore’s Maniacal Miscreation) there are those random pauses in the music where the bassist just goes and bangs out this catchy riff. The second thing I love about Goratory’s bassist is something that I feel intensifies and brings out the first quality, and that is the bass guitar he plays and how he has it tuned. Obviously, he’s playing a bass that was made for some kind of jazz music. On top of that, he’s got the treble turned WAY up in order to make the slapping and other random shit more audible.
The third thing that I like about the bassist is mainly because of the first two, and that is despite his abstract style and uniqueness, the way he just perfectly blends in with the rest of the band. During some of the heavier and slower breakdowns (especially the one at the end of the title track), he just keeps on going and tearing out these sweeping riffs like nobody’s business; and it fits in PERFECTLY! Now that I’ve completed my rave over their bassist, let’s move on to the drummer. I wouldn’t consider him to be one of the band’s worst strengths, but then again, he’s nowhere NEAR being the best member. Another thing that I would not consider him to be is an outstanding death grind drummer in general. One thing that you repeatedly hear in death grind is mind-blowing drumming (i.e. Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, Wormed, Exhumed, Gutted, Carcass, Misery Index, Skinless, etc.). So it was somewhat surprising to me that these guys don’t even have a better-than-average drummer. But then again, I’ve hear FAR worse drumming than what’s on this record (Dying Fetus kind of raised my standards for death grind a little too high), and most (not all) of the drummer’s flaws aren’t easily noticeable unless you listen to the drumming very closely.
The vocals lean more towards the grindcore side. The switch between slushy exhaled growls, pig squeals, and exhaled shrieks is very engaging. There are several points in the album where there is a combination of two or all of those three vocal styles; and those combinations are placed in very clever spots and never get overdone. I wouldn’t consider the vocalist’s skills and technique to be anything better than the average underground death grind band, but his creativity is greater than most.
Goratory’s music is some of the best death grind of the underground world (that I’m aware of). Obviously, it’s not something that I would consider to be better than Dying Fetus’ WORST record, but out of all the underground death grind bands that I’ve discovered over the past year or so, Goratory has proved to be one of the more talented and skilled bands. If the opportunity presents itself, and if you’re a fan of brutal music that has catchiness, uniqueness, and tons of non-boring brutality and energy, you should get yourself a copy of this album. I would give Rice on Suede 15/20.