Goratory – Sour Grapes Review

You ever drop a floater? You know, the kind of turd that just floats around the surface of the bowl? The kind of turd that makes you start to question everything: your dietary choices, the laws of physics, the nature of reality itself? I usually choose to see such an occurrence as a delightful omen, a sign of great things to come. And that’s why I couldn’t help myself when I saw this neglected promo floating on the surface of the bin. I put on my rubber gloves and scooped it up, nuts and all, giving it a reassuring pat as I did so. While scrotal brutal technical death metal is not usually my bag, potty humor certainly is. Boston’s Goratory butter their bread with filth — as evidenced by past album title jewels like Orgasm Induced Diarrhea — and when I saw the ballsy artistic choices the band had made for new record Sour Grapes, I was helpless to resist.

My resistance was further neutered by the fact that the lead single for Sour Grapes is called “I Shit Your Pants.” I found the lyrics to the track online and they tell an epic tale about experimenting on hippies with laxative-laced psychedelic substances, and I may or may not have literally cried laughing at lines like “flower power needs a shower hour.” But as much as I love potty humor, it’s almost impossible to tell what’s being said on the rest of the album due to Goratory’s chosen musical style, so I am forced to do what I’m actually supposed to do: evaluate the music. “I Shit Your Pants” is a good example of what you’ll find during Sour Grapes’ 26 minute runtime with its frenetic start-and-stop riffing and drumming, noodling fretless bass, and deranged vocal performance by Adam Mason. The band’s sound offers a bit of a halfway point between the classic technical death metal of Cryptopsy and the hyper-modern version of the style put forth by bands like Archspire, even adding some grindcore for good measure.

Ever wondered what it would feel like to get teabagged by a circular saw? Check out “Losing Streak.” It has ample groove to balance out all of the technical tomwankery. Ever wondered what testicular torsion feels like? Listen to closer “Back to the Grinding Machine” to experience some impossibly fast riffing and to hear Mason’s BREEEEballing oral mayhem. Pull out your hanky and feel the heartfelt emotion as Goratory pay touching(?) tribute(?) to the late main man of grind legends Anaal Cunthrakh on “Seth Putnam Was a Sensitive Man.” The homage begins with a less-than-flattering quote from Putnam, the worst part of which has him declaring his love for Buckcherry. Ew! The track itself is killer, sounding like the result of throwing a can of high-teste gasoline onto a bonfire.

The production may be loud, but there is still a decent amount of room in the mix for the intricate basswork to be heard working amongst the crushing riffs, drum blasts, and wretched squeals. These guys are well-hung with technical chops, and while they display their musical knackers all over on Sour Grapes, I wish that they were able to throw a little more girth into the album’s noodly nadness. Listen to a cojonest-to-goodness tech death classic like None So Vile, and you’ll find ample groove anchoring the technical bollocks. Goratory demonstrate at times that they know how to do this as well, but their gnarly grooves often reach climax too quickly. Unfortunately, this limits the replay value of Sour Grapes, for despite being a thoroughly enjoyable listen from front to back, the record tends to fade from memory quickly, aside from a few standout moments. Those moments can be found on tasty morsels like “Losing Streak,” “I Shit Your Pants,” “Bottom Feeder,” “Seth Putnam Was a Sensitive Man,” and “Back to the Grind Machine.”

On first listen, I thought these guys were crazy. But now I can see their nuts. If you’re looking for the next great thing in brutal tech death, this probably won’t fill your sack. But if, like me, your self-deprecation game is strong, but you struggle to achieve self-defecation, grab this low-hanging, hairy fruit with extreme prejudice. Goratory would be more than happy to shit your pants for you.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Website: facebook.com/officialgoratory
Releases Worldwide: October 16th, 2020

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