We all have a side to us where sometimes we just crave aggressiveness and unrelenting brutality in our music. These are the times when brutal death metal bands come in handy. In today’s scene, the listener is spoilt for choice as the sheer number of brutal death bands have only grown in number over the past years. The latest addition to the barrage of albums of this variety is ‘Observations of Humanity’ by the long standing band Coathanger Abortion from Tennessee, USA. It is a tough task to make an album that stands out in a very competitive market. Unfortunately in this case, the band’s recently released second full length only goes to show that the band still has a long way to go.
Looking at the band’s name, you might imagine the music to be brutal, bloody and heavy. You might even imagine a few generic riffs in your head. In the case of Coathanger Abortion, chances are high that you’ll end up hearing exactly what you imagined in your head. That is a huge problem for the band because the music is very predictable and generic. The band introduces nothing new in terms of music or song writing. But surely, an album needn’t sound fresh as long as the tight execution makes it enjoyable. That is also not the case here.
One thing that the band does get right is the album art. Though it does not stand out in any way, it perfectly captures the mood and the music on the record. The music, much like the album art itself, is boring, messy and it’s not quite clear what is happening. One of the major reasons for this is the production on the album. The bass and the guitars are so loud that everything else is eclipsed by their tones. It’s a shame because I did like whatever little I could hear of the vocals, which is done in a deep guttural fashion like heard on the earlier Cannibal Corpse records.
One of the few appeals of a brutal death metal record is the short play time, where the bands usually pack in tons of heavy riffs and slams in a short span. Coathanger Abortion, for some reason, have done the exact opposite on this record. They’ve taken a few simple (a little too simple actually) riffs and they’ve stretched the songs to the point that it’s too boring to listen to again. The album has only 10 tracks and it lasts almost an hour. By the time one gets through half the album, finishing it becomes a test of endurance.
‘Observations of Humanity’ is an album that could have been better in a lot of ways. It does no justice to the six years that Coathanger Abortion spent in making this record.