Bonehunter is back and we all know what that means: perverted jokes aplenty. And the band ain’t helping. I mean, for god’s sake, look at that album cover. But, trust me, keep the perviness to a minimum. Too much will undoubtedly trigger the boom of the Banhammer—or worse. You may find yourself in HR’s dungeon here at AMG’s Southwest office. Which is no place for upstanding men and women like ourselves. That dungeon is a sweltering shithole. Not to mention all the dingy cubicles filled with poking, prodding ass–bags that find even the most immaculate word-smithing offensive. I mean, seriously, what is this world coming to when stellar combos like “anal nibbler,” “ass muncher,” “black fucking cancer,” and “rabbit-headed colon plunger” find themselves scoffed at? A bullshit world; that’s what. But, Bonehunter threw the first punch and the only way up is down. We might as well take it all out (and get it all out) because Bone(r)hunter‘s newest record flails and flops like a fully erect Grizzly dick. Submit to the Sexual Panic Human Machine.
If you’ve never heard of this fine, Finnish trio, let me see if I can’t describe them for you. They’re black, crust, punk, and thrash. They’re Bathory and Venom, they’re Aura Noir and Toxic Holocaust. They’re sex, they’re Satan, they’re downright nasty. And did I mention they’re fun? Though I didn’t give their 2015 debut, Evil Triumphs Again, a glowing review, it wasn’t a steaming pile of poop, it just didn’t deliver. Much of this was due to it sounding identical to its influences. This new record, instead, sees the band—sorta—coming into their own. We aren’t talking about life–changing shit, but Sexual Panic Human Machine is a more interesting release than its predecessor. Does this mean it’s the must-have black/thrash record of the year? Ummm…no. But, if you like your black/thrash rough, Sexual Panic Human Machine is a lay I bet you’ll enjoy.
After the unsettling repetition of “sexual assault” in the opening number (like a twisted introduction to a Pig Destroyer record), “Enter the Satan’s Dimension” lets its testicles fly free. This track has lots of old-school Bathory character and the rasping “Satan” lines rise above its black pool of bonafide hate. Follow-up track “Digital Evil” comes charging out of the gates with an aggression to match its predecessor. And, like the track before it, its chorus is left ringing in your head. Then the drums and guitars diverge to a Toxic Holocaust interlude before converging on layers–upon–layers of melody.
For more rocking, chorus-driven numbers, look to “Spectre of Sex Vengeance.” Though this one is about as straightforward as it gets, its dark, rowdy mood leaves a lasting impression. That guitar solo, in particular, is about as gripping as a Darkthrone solo can get. if you want more of the melodic flavorings of “Digital Evil,” go no further than “Electric Nightmare” and “Substance Creator.” Both songs also include funtastic rocking riffs, cruising guitar solos, and genuine nods to the filthier side of lawn-torching rock.
Unfortunately, tracks like “Doom Desire” and “Devil Science” don’t have much in the way of memorability. The former has some earth–rumbling bass leads. But, that’s about it. The title of “Devil Science” is an automatic winner in my book. It’s just not a winner of a song, as it tends to go nowhere. Then there’s the closer. While the growing builds at the end conclude the album nicely, most of its length lacks engagement. Unfortunately, for all its Darkthrone–ness, it fails to bring the album home. Maybe I’m expecting too much from the band, but the album has a decent flow to it and, with a few tweaks and a better finale, this could be one raunchy beast.
Regardless, Bonehunter‘s second record is an improvement over their debut. The only thing that wasn’t an improvement was the compression. How do you go from a DR10 to a DR5? Talk about your bone(r)head moves. But, if you couldn’t care less about that, or the band’s obsession with a style that has cum–and–gone, then all these words probably won’t get you caring anyway. But, fans of the style should enjoy these thirty–six minutes of sexy fun. Though you’ll find yourself diving back into your Bathory and Venom records when all the fun is over.