Awaken the Misogynist – Descended from Vast Dimensions Review

But I don’t wanna Awaken the Misogynist. I like him right where he is: snoring on the couch, rolling over to rip off the odd fart now and then. It doesn’t seem like I have much choice at this point, though. I first started sniffing around this slam quintet’s debut album while trying to figure out what’s going on with that band name. It’s obviously a provocation of… some sort. Fortunately, Descended from Vast Dimensions doesn’t mark the birth of Incel Metal.1 Heck, these guys even seem like an inclusive lot; spoken word comedy opener “Slammertainment Tonight” promises the listener “a beautiful disaster that will hit you in your balls and/or pussy.” The band’s an international collective of sorts, featuring members from China, Scandinavia, the United States, and the U.K.2 Curious about how these odd ingredients might gel, I borrowed a codpiece from the comments section and waded into these twelve tracks of brutal slamming death metal.

Awaken the Misogynist may be a diverse lot, but they aren’t making a United Colors of Benetton ad. They’re making BRUTAL SLAM in the tradition of genre stalwarts like Cerebral Incubation or Vulvectomy. Given the band’s global membership and seeming penchant for trolling, you might expect Descended from Vast Dimensions to advance an off-beat or challenging point of view in either the music or the subject matter. You’d wind up disappointed, because the album is steeped in genre tropes and almost everything here is as straightforward as it gets. It’s a decently executed thirty minutes of lurching riffs and pinch harmonics, enlivened by the growls and stuck-pig squeals of vocalists Livio Wellinger and Jameson Blomgren. There are some bright spots, but the production muffles everything and an absolutely massive chunk of the album is given over to samples that add nothing to the proceedings.

Humanity approaches The Sampularity, that moment in time when slam bands have re-purposed every second of filmed entertainment in existence for use as samples. Awaken the Misogynist do their part to hasten its arrival by drenching Descended from Vast Dimensions in snippets of dialogue from beginning to end. It’s all been done to death at this point; if you’ve heard one torture victim screaming in agony as someone snips away at their soft parts, as you do on first proper song “Resurrection 1 – Thirteen Bodies” and on its followup “Leeched,” you’ve heard them all. It’s possible that there’s fun left to be had with the format of “sampled intro,” “sample to cover a tempo shift midway through,” and “sampled outro”–but it hasn’t worked for Ferox in a good while, and the trope’s paint-by-numbers deployment on this platter does nothing to change that.

Descended from Vast Dimensions isn’t all lowlights. Awaken the Misogynist unleash a slam variation on Exhumed’s signature “big dog/little dog” vocals, with Livio Wellinger handling traditional death gutturals and Jameson Blomgren dropping in with his more traditionally slammy squeals.3 The contrast gives songs like “The Cleansing of Ignorance” a jolt of energy, pushing the song over the top and into a realm of rockheaded absurdity that seems to be my personal sweet spot with the genre. In spite of the occasional perky moment, Descended from Vast Dimensons never builds any real momentum. At thirty-three minutes, it’s easy enough to get through–but I’m guessing a band that went with the name Awaken the Misogynist were hoping for a reaction more visceral than “easy enough to get through.”

There are moments in life when you just want to zip into your favorite pair of camo cargo shorts and do what comes naturally. Those are coming less often for me, but just when I’m thinking of tapping out of slam entirely something like Necroticgorebeast comes along to elbow me in the nose and yank me back into the eternal circle pit. In a genre with a limited bag of tricks, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where that alchemy comes from–but it’s easy to hear that Awaken the Misogynist hasn’t yet found it on their debut. The misogynist may be up off the couch, but he hasn’t got much to say.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 319 kb/s MPEG
Label: Comatose Records
Releases Worldwide: September 9, 2022

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Maybe Incel Metal exists already? I don’t wanna know.
  2. However these guys make their process work, it clearly did not involve being in the same place for their band photo.
  3. Hat tip to Dr. Fisting for coining the “big dog/little dog” description back in his review of All Guts, No Glory.
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