In today’s fast growing world where the attention span of the average human being is ever shrinking, a band faces a higher chance of fading away into obscurity. Sometimes the band in question may not have the required skill or dedication to get recognized. But there are times when a band has got the talent in abundance and yet they vanish without getting the due recognition. This is where labels like Transcending Obscurity come in. Labels like these find such diamonds in the rough and turn the spotlight towards them so that they shine. And for that, I hold them in the highest regard. One of Transcending Obscurity’s recent unearthing is a little known beast from British Columbia, Canada who go by the name The Whorehouse Massacre.
This band has a back catalog which is pretty damn strong, but not very well known. So now they’re reissuing a couple of their EPs from 2013 in a compilation, ‘Altar of the Goat Skull / VI’. I’m glad that this reissue is happening, as evidently these are really good releases that more people need to hear.
First up in the compilation are the tracks from ‘Altar of the Goatskull’. Right from the get go, the band let the listeners know that things are gonna get dirty as a wall of grimy, sludgy metal is unleashed. ‘Indignation’ begins with a hooky riff that flows like a river of black sludge. Heaviness is something that the band doesn’t ration at all. This is followed by two small jams that flow together quite nicely. The crash happy drumming, makes it sound like a ritual. The vocals on this record sounds vile and acidic. It suits the grimy tone of the album very well.
I like how there is a clear distinction between the two EPs. It showcases how the band intended the two releases to sound different from each other. The first half has a relatively more blackened atmosphere that tends to have a hypnotic effect thanks to the droning pace of the tracks. In contrast the second half has a more riff based approach, where the lead guitar has a more active role and the band utilizes thick riffs rendered in a suffocating atmosphere. The difference is subtle, but enough to make a clear distinction.
The beginning of the ‘VI’ side of the album, is signaled by the droning intro of ‘Big Mouth’ that slowly grows into a riff. Here the vocals grow a tad bit more atmospheric and blackened. The lead guitars also make a more pronounced appearance towards this side of the record.
The production on the album is made with an intent to assault the senses of the listener. The mix is unabashedly loud, but it does not compromise on the clarity despite the thick atmosphere throughout the record. This record is not an easy listen, but if you’re a sucker for the sludge, then you’ll definitely want to listen to this over and over.
The Whorehouse Massacre is a band that knows how to assault the listener’s senses in a way that they keep coming back for more punishment. This release is a wonderful insight into the band’s back catalog and is sure to gain them a cult following. Dont sleep on this one.