Much like how everyone figured out what Ewoks were called despite the name never being mentioned in film, mysterious forces of collective cultural understanding have conspired to associate slamming brutal death metal with forced puns. I have not the faintest chance of elucidating the causes for this association, but I want to go on record in support of it. If there’s any rhetorical device fit for the facepalm-inducing stupidity of the genre, it’s the inauspicious concatenation of “slam” with words that aren’t “slam.” Enter Slamophiliac, the one-man project of Texas-based slamonger Darryn Palmer. Previous outings have been a slamucopia of  bass drops and numbskullery with the occasional transition into more experimental sound, like the cross-conslamination with post-rock atmosphere in Aphelion.

This album is brutal enough. Minus the slams and more outre vocal contributions, Perihelion sounds a lot like 2000s-era Cryptopsy with less bass. Unfortunately for Slamophiliac, I think Cryptopsy pretty uniformly sucked ass for that entire decade, except for that album we won’t mention, which was much worse. Aphelion has the same reliance on blastbeats and short, repetitive riffing that marred the Canadians’ contributions for nearly half of their career. The riffing here is hyper-fast, chromatic and extremely distorted, and it doesn’t let up much. The occasional slam will break its way through in each song, but they’re pretty one-dimensional affairs without much staying power or groove. This is partly due to writing and partly due to production.

Perihelion sounds thin and anemic and severely slammels the album’s impact. When the blasting is in full effect, only the buzz of distortion can be picked up from the guitars and the bass drum almost drops out entirely. The bass is very present, but only really shows up at the bottom of its register, where it can be hard to separate from the kick. Even the upper range sounds papery and cheap, and slampers the sweet ping of the snare drum1 is robbed of its charm. This might seem like an inslammatory complaint against the album, but the production was the first thing I noticed, and without good music to back it up, it has real slamifiactions.

The late-song retreat to a more slambulatory pace “Denial of Self” turns things around for a bit, and combined with a few seconds of guest vocals make it one of the album’s more slamorable songs. Unfortunately, here again the production woes come up, as they’re mixed much to high and sound completely separated from the song, and they feel naked in that spotlight. The same problem comes up, though thankfully to a lesser extent in album closer “Total Annihilation Eminent,” which uses forceful snare pings to great effect in its beatdown riff. The album ends with a kind of halfhearted and buried solo that sounds like a one-take affair.

Listening to Perihelion  in the moment isn’t torturous or particularly aggravating. The music fluctuates between acceptable and slam-fisted, but never seems to go anywhere interesting. What really annoyed me about the album is that it all seemed so earnest. I could have accepted this if it were an overblown ode to fetus eating, necrophilia or what have you, but the air of seriousness projected by this, I repeat, slamming brutal death metal album, is just a bit much. Wormed can get away with this because nobody could possibly take their broken English space opera seriously, and because they’re great songwriters and musicians. Perihelion isn’t fun or engaging, and it doesn’t even try to be. It’s at odds both with the project’s moniker and a lot of its previous work, which stuck closer to the genre’s tropes and was all the more successful for it. Slambrosia this is not.


Score: 2.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: CDN Records
Websites: slamophiliac.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/slamophiliac
Releases Worldwide: January 1st, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. Slamophiliac at least did this part right.

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  • antitayyip

    this is way too brutal…

  • Reese Burns

    I’m gonna go ahead and say it: I don’t think Cryptopsy have ever put out a bad album. Fight me.

    • Diego Molero

      Even the deathcore one?

      • Reese Burns

        Even the deathcore one…

        • Diego Molero

          Well, good thing this is a kinda anonymous and mostly friendly website…

          Btw, is “Reese Burns” your real name? I always wonder.

          • Reese Burns

            Yeah, that’s my name, if I could have come up with a funny/clever username, I would have!

          • Diego Molero

            Hahaha, I know what you’re saying, couldn’t come up with a username myself. But Reese Burns is a very cool name, that’s why I didn’t know if it was your real one.

          • Reese Burns

            Hey, thanks! Also, I’m just now noticing you’ve changed your profile picture! That’s three people now.

          • Diego Molero

            You’re welcome ;) And yes, you know how the saying goes: “new year, new penguin”. Or something like that…

          • I have a series of aliases I use when I meet new people I never expect to see again. “Reese Burns” would be a good addition to that list.

          • Reese Burns

            Hey now, I have a bad reputation to protect here! Don’t you go tainting my good name!

          • Too late. Expect some angry calls.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Make sure you introduce yourself as: Burns… Reese Burns.

          • GardensTale

            I think the guy in the embedded track is saying your name though! It sounds a lot like “REEEEEEESE REESE REESE REEEEEEEEESE” at least.

        • Grymm

          ESPECIALLY the deathcore one.

    • Kronos

      What about most of them? Most of them are bad.

      • Reese Burns

        :(

      • hubcapiv

        I’ve never even listened to Cryptopsy but I love this comment.

  • There are no button-downs in slam!

  • Diego Molero

    The dude looks like he’s on his way to a family meeting he doesn’t one to go, but his mom is forcing him anyway

    • Zach Ward

      It’s like she’s pulling him away from playing World of Warcraft, so he’s got that sad look on his face.

    • Hmm, that photo kinda contradicts what Kronos wrote about the seriousness of the project, I mean – dude looks like he never gave a single fuck in his entire life (pun not intended).

      Also, I think mr Freud would have a lot to say about this cover…

      Unfortunately I don’t have so much to say about the music, except that it’s boring and it lacks the whole point of the genre – PUNCH.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Nice pun! And regarding the Freudian thing about the cover… you also saw vaginas there, right?

        • Chigo

          The dentata kind.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I knew I was not the only one!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      This same exact picture of Darryn Palmer pasted over some cosmic background is the band picture for Slamophiliac on the Metal Archives.
      No fucks given, already

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra
        • Francesco Bordoni

          Man, you can just tell he gives negative fucks

          • [not a Dr]

            Are you saying he takes (or absorbs) said fucks?

          • Francesco Bordoni

            Not exactly. The theory behind it is as follows: if we agree on the statement that the universe as a comprehensive reality gives none (fucks that is), and we then also notice how people – as part of this reality – may give none but also some, then the universal equilibrium of fucks, which is per ipotesi 0, logically and algebrically demands the rare but undeniable existence of negative embodiments of fucks-giving, such as this gentleman here.

            If you’d like an estimate we can talk numbers: I’d say he resides in the range of -1000/-1200 FKg (Fucks/Kg) given.

      • [not a Dr]
        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          I would if I knew how to…

    • Darryn Palmer

      Oddly enough this was taken at a family reunion. lol Nice catch friend.

      • Chigo

        I would so much rather see a dude just standing there in his regular clothes at a family reunion than another pic of corpse pain, bullet belts, invisible oranges, dark forests, grungy alleys, or any other metal promo pic clichés. Keep keeping it real, Darryn.

  • Zach Ward

    Slam is just that one Sub-genre that I can’t get into. I like to think I’m pretty brutal, but I’m certainly not that brutal. I’ll tip my hat to anyone that is.

  • Dr. Wvrm

    Please tell me this guy is gonna get a unicorning.

    • sir_c

      even the unicorn couldn’t give a fuck

  • Wilhelm

    It’s an old school selfie, the camera set on a wall, crooked, eyes closed, fuck it! Too expensive to get another roll developed.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    No wonder the lyric subject is philosophical… That picture plus misoginy, necrophilia and fetus eating lyrics would get a queue of FBI agents knocking at his door to question him about every Jane Doe open case that roughly corresponds to the guys’ lifetime.

  • Chigo

    That’s an awkward combination of band name and album title. If I start a slam band, I’m calling the band and first album:
    Periheliophiliac – The Heliophilio-deallio, For Really, Yo

    And in the promo pic, I’m gonna stand in front of my grandma’s house with wing sauce all over my shirt-napkin. Seriously though, I actually kind of like his promo pics. The lack of fucks given is pretty metal.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      The lack of fucks given is totally fucking metal!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Slam parameters are so narrow that there almost seems to be no room for “bad” slam vs. “good” slam. There’s only room for slam in there, no good or bad. So if you like slam you like most of it, if you don’t like slam you don’t like any of it.
    I’m probably not being articulate enough trying to get this point across…

    • Lucas Lex DeJong

      I know what you’re saying, but I like slam, yet only like about 20% of slam. To me, with such a homogenous genre, to ACTUALLY stand out, you need a really good production job and a really (surprisingly) nuanced touch of song construction in order to get the punch. I actually think of it as closer to hip-hop for the bounce, or even EDM for the “bass drop”, to get that “Gawd Dayum” moment.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        What’s “Gawd Dayum”?

        • Lucas Lex DeJong

          say it out loud with an american drawl and you’ll know

  • SegaGenitals

    Cover art looks like my ex-wife’s vagina.

    • sir_c

      FUBAR!

  • Snowy

    Some superb punning there, if only Slamifications didn’t have the typo it could have been a contender for review of the year so far

  • herrschobel

    oh man. what goes on in a mans mind if this is the output. i like the cover though.

  • Elton Chagas

    … this is a 0.5 to me.

  • Hammersmith

    The band photo has a real “waiting for the bus” kinda vibe.

  • regarding 2000s Cryptopsy I dug Once Was Not, a strange but endearing (to me) record. Shitty production aside that album is as cold as an endless graveyard and I actually liked the “crusty old man yelling at you to get off his lawn” vox of Lord Worm. Some of the music creeped me out on that one too.

  • Thatguy

    NSB- needs some bandmates.

  • Noobhammer

    Dat picture is one of a man who conquered the Slamverse and realized that what he sought was not what he desired…THE ULTIMATE SLAM!