As we ponder the merits of each album that we snatch from the promo sump with our critic hats on, it’s easy to overlook and disregard the deeper sacrifices and dedication that occurs in the darkest recesses of the underground metal world. The longevity and dedication of certain underground bands that never achieve a great deal of success or recognition, is at the very least an admirable trait. Germany’s long standing and unheralded death metal crew Corrosive are one such band dwelling in relative obscurity. Upon closer investigation the band has been plying their no-frills trade since forming in the mid ’90s. After a hiatus they returned with their most recent outing, 2017’s Lucifer Gave the Faith, just their second LP across a lengthy career. Striking while the creative iron still burns red, Corrosive make a relatively swift turnaround (by the band’s sluggish recording work rate), dropping the malevolent Nourished by Blood.
The wider death metal scene has been on a roll, particularly with 2018’s remarkably chockablock selection of superb albums. With the stakes raised and the scene heavily crowded, jostling for attention from the often time poor but insatiably hungry hordes of death metal fans, is no doubt going to prove increasingly difficult. Corrosive aren’t in the least bit interested in reinventing the wheel. Rather they appear content to hack, groove and blast in a truly old school and blasphemous fashion, free of bells and whistles. Sinister melodies and blackened elements underpin the stock standard deathly barrage, careening from unhinged blasting aggression, thick mid-paced grooves and thrashier impulses. The charred black elements lend the album a darker atmosphere, which sits well alongside their old school Swedeath and Floridian influences. When the band is on point and bring their song-writing chops and brutish assault to the table, the results are solidly enjoyable and suitably punishing in execution.
“Sleep Paralysis” delivers a tasty slab of old school, Stockholm influenced death, combining rugged grooves and solid riffs, with killer soloing and off-the-chain flurries of thrashing aggression. The furnace blasting “Holy Priest” merges Corrosive‘s old school death and flirtations with black metal into a tightly constructed and viciously delivered cut. “War Is My Inspiration” is a blistering and moderately entertaining exercise in aggression, speed and groove. These are a few standouts on an album that can’t manage to sustain the quality across its weighty duration. It’s a shame too, because most of the ingredients are in place for a good time, but a shortage of memorable moments and genuinely engaging riffs leaves an empty feeling all too often. At least the band show they have a sense of humor, evidenced through their cover of the classic Ghostbusters theme song to close out the album. As ridiculous and silly as it may be, I couldn’t help but listen with curious interest and a smile on my face. Meanwhile the more experimental doom-death slog of “God Gives” features some powerful moments but can’t quite nail the landing, especially with the questionable integration of goth-tinged cleans.
Overall, vocalist and original member Andy puts forth a strong performance, his thick menacing growls and pitch variations lending the album a nastier edge. He’s surrounded by a workmanlike band of skilled musicians, plying their respective trades with a minimum of fuss or flair. At 12 songs and 47 minutes, Corrosive simply haven’t got the song-writing legs to maintain momentum, with bleeding between tracks and an occasional lack in individual song identity plaguing parts of the album. The crushed mastering does the album no favors, creating an unnecessarily loud impact, while the music could benefit greatly from a warmer and heftier production job for Corrosive to hammer their point home with greater authority.
There’s nothing to truly dislike about Corrosive and their brand of nasty, groove-laced and slightly blackened old school death. Every now and then a passage will crop up that gets me interested and the small handful of beastly, neck-snapping tunes are worthy of attention. Overall it’s a solid but fairly unremarkable and sadly forgettable album. The bloated length and excess filler weighs Nourished by Blood down considerably, and aside from a few worthy morsels and Corrosive‘s admirable commitment to the cause, I can’t see myself coming back to this album once my duties are completed.