abhomine coverMost of Nicolas Cage’s movies suck the ass of Satan and are bad to the point of unintentional comedy. His face and acting are more terrifying than any horror film, and his performance in Ghost Rider alone gives The Human Centipede a run for the money in the shit eating department. He’s been in three movies that aren’t cinematic diarrhea – Leaving Las Vegas, Wild at Heart and 8 MM. While the first two are actually great movies (Wild At Heart especially for featuring Powermad), 8 MM is notable less for being good and more for its exploration of the depraved world of snuff porn. As protagonist Tom Welles goes deep (pun intended) into the seedy underground, led by porn shop employee Max California (played by the harelipped reminder of what could have been, Joaquin Phoenix) he finds himself both fascinated and repulsed by what he encounters. As a viewer, one also feels this unease as somewhere in there, our darkest reaches are drawn to what is so wrong. A morbid curiosity that makes you unable to look away from a bloody accident, drives the tongue to probe a sore spot in the mouth, or makes you eat White Castle at 4 AM drunk, fully knowing that there is a reason they call them “sliders,” and that by 8 AM you will have to crawl out of bed and plant yourself on the crapper to jettison all that grease and cheap beer.

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Pete Helmkamp’s varied projects over the years have one special unifying quality: there is something unsettling about them all that transcends music and hits the core of your being, reminding you that the world is an immaculately fucked up place and our tenure on it is tentative at best. For those of us with that morbid curiosity, a trip through the long, nail-studded sleeve of releases under his bullet belt will remind us of just that. From the more well-known Order From Chaos, Angelcorpse and Revenge to the less infamous Terror Organ, Kerasphorous and Feldgrau (the latter two of which are particularly nasty), the material has been written with others. Larvae Offal Swine, the debut album under the moniker Abhomine, is Helmkamp’s first true solo effort in which he wrote and performed all of the music with the exception of the drums. How does this nigh legendary extreme metal front man stand when on his own?

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Pretty fucking tall, especially for someone of his actual stature and how far he has to figuratively fall. While the material herein draws from most of his current and previous bands (though the industrial feel of Terror Organ and Feldgrau are absent), with Abhomine, Helmkamp has carved a niche of his own. Revenge was refined through its chaos, particularly on 2008’s Infiltration.Downfall.Death (his last with the band),  and there is an absolute lack of anything the layperson could sink his or her teeth into. Similarly, Feldgrau‘s collision of industrial and black metal is so harsh on the ears even the initiated may have a hard time with it. With Abhomine, the average Metallica or Pantera fan may be left to swim in shark-infested waters, but there are enough smatterings of the familiar to widen the appeal a bit, and there’s a maniacal chaos even this seasoned writer has a hard time placing his bloodied finger on.

Similar to early Morbid Angel, Abhomine reside in that netherworld somewhere between death metal and black metal with an underlying menace of grindcore. Album opener proper “Buried With Pig” has great bass WHOOMs right out of KISS‘s “Deuce.” The bass breakdowns in the opening of “Blackmaguswhitehouse,” perhaps my favorite track, have the stench of “Suffocation” off Altars of Madness and the crushing slow section at the end is the musical equivalent of Ex-Lax – a riff so heavy you will shit your pants. The guitar sound is like a hornet’s nest. Painful, piercing, and unsettling. Hemlmkamp began playing guitar a few years back reportedly to get these very riffs out of his head and, despite being a relative novice compared to some of his previous counterparts, his ear for penning cacophonous compositions is strong. Similar to Angelcorpse, the average tempo wavers around “fast as fuck,” so when things do go funereal they are all the more effective. “Kapos and Whores” is a prime example, pounding until the 3/4 mark and descending sharply into a menacing groove for a mere half a minute. Unlike Angelcorpse, there is not a single solo throughout the proceedings. His immediately identifiable snarl is seething, particularly on “Narcocult,” and by the time the same dissonant drone that opened things closes them out, the listener is left traumatized and tortured.

Hovering around 27 minutes in length, like its creator, Larvae Offal Swine is short, militant and mean. It’s been a fuck of a few years for Pete Helmkamp fans, particularly with Order From Chaos and Angelcorpse recently touring and Kerasphorous once again rearing its ugly head. Though, can you really be a “fan” of music that proclaims “man is the root of abomination?” Would a true misanthrope release music for the masses? When shit is this effective, who the fuck cares? Sit back, probe that sore spot, and enjoy the gruesome savagery that is Abhomine.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Hells Headbangers Records
Websites: hellsheadbangers.bandcamp.com/album/larvae-offal-swine | facebook.com/abhomine
Releases Worldwide: April 29th, 2016

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  • Name’s Dalton

    I have one bone to pick with this review: Raising Arizona, which I believe was Cage’s first film, is a classic and he’s hilarious in it.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I agree about Raising Arizona. Love that movie.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Great film, but not his first. I think Fast Times was his first.

      • Name’s Dalton

        I stand corrected! Fast Times was indeed his debut.

    • Bart the Repairman

      Oh, man, you brought up nice memories. My diploma exhibition was entirely about movies of Coen brothers. I’ve made fan posters for all of them. They’re my favourite filmmakers, period.

      • Name’s Dalton

        Mine, too! Miller’s Crossing is achingly beautiful and brilliantly written and acted. Then again, seems all of their films share those qualities.

        Blood Simple was so feral and visceral. Barton Fink so serrations and the violent turn was so sudden as to be horrifying (“I will show you the life of the mind!” – John Goodman was terrifying.). I could go on and on, as I’m sure could you.

        • No Country for Old Men is a movie I can watch at any time on any day from any point and be immediately riveted.

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      I’d add Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock, Bad Lieutenant, Vampire’s Kiss, Adaptation, Lord of War, The Weather Man, Kick-Ass (arguably) and Joe to the list as well.

      • Name’s Dalton

        The Rock and Con Air were entertaining, but my word was Con Air awful; completely devoid of any nuance or subtlety. From any of the roles.

        Lord of War was pretty cool.

        I really liked Matchstick Men (also with the excellent Sam Rockwell).

        • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

          Con Air’s dumb as shit, no doubt. Good call on Lord of War and Matchstick Men too – Rockwell is great in everything.

          • Name’s Dalton

            Am I the only one here who enjoyed the National Treasure movies? I realize I have totally hijacked this review’s comment section. Whoops!

          • Hijacking is totally permitted and even condoned.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          I always laugh when I think of one of the lines from near the end of Con Air, spoken by Danny Trejo’s character, I think. Something like “busted by a cop in sandals with socks. Story of my life”.

    • Grymm

      I came here to specifically say exactly this.

      Also, this picture…

  • Diego Molero

    “Most of Nicolas Cage’s movies suck the ass of Satan and are bad to the point of unintentional comedy”

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I dunno, I’m a Cage fan. Loved him in Adaptation, Bad Lieutenant: Port Of etc., as well as Joe.

    Ebert, who admired him, wrote: “He doesn’t care if you think he goes over the top. If a film calls for it, he will crawl to the top hand over hand with bleeding fingernails.”

    • Smapti Jones

      Agreed – and I’d add Face/Off, Bringing Out the Dead, The Weather Man… he’s been in a fair share of good movies as well as bad.

  • Drive like hell was AMAZING. Also this is really good. Thanks for all the short jokes.

  • [not a Dr]

    Nothing beats the Leaving Las Vegas drinking game.

    • You drink when he drinks and are dead by the time Elizabeth Shue is naked?

      • [not a Dr]

        It could lead to that…

        Take a sip every time:

        -Ben wakes up in front of the refrigerator.
        -Ben is curled up in a fetal position. If Ben is in the fetal position AND in front of
        the refrigerator, that means two sips.)
        -Sera expresses that she wants to have sex with Ben.
        -you think to yourself, “Are they gonna have sex or what?!”
        -Julian Sands’s Russian accent falters.
        -(if you’re a girl) Julian Sands’s Russian accent turns you on.
        -(if you’re a guy) Sera’s outfit gives you a hard-on.
        -it becomes obvious that Nic has injected his own dialogue into the script, such as
        “prickly pear” or “Kling Klang King of the Rim Ram Room”
        -you see a scene in which Mike Figgis has a cameo. (Hint: There are at least five.)
        -(if you’re a girl) you think to yourself, “Being a hooker wouldn’t be so
        bad…”
        -(if you’re a guy) you think to yourself, “Boy, I could really go for a hooker right
        now.”

  • beurbs

    Harelipped

    • Thank you! Fixed it

      • beurbs

        It’s a common misteak

  • This may be the first time all the comments but one on a review had nothing to do with the album being reviewed. I love it! To clarify, I wrote, ‘most of Nicholas Cage’s movies,’ and by that I meant Nicholas Cage movies where he is the marquee actor. Fun or not, Con Air, Face Off, The Rock, The Family Man, The Wicker Man, fucking World Trade Center?! Shit sandwiches.

    • Tim

      The Rock was all right. I’d put it along side my Demolition Man and Rumble in the Bronx any day.

  • Pete Helmkamp is a busy guy this year. This album does not disappoint either. New Angelcorpse now please.

    • Hopefully Kerasphorous puts something else out as well. An EP and a 7″ is not nearly enough