Gorotica – Morbid Menagerie [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Your beloved Aunt Maxine passed away after a long illness, and now the family faces a choice between two admittedly less-than-ideal options. Is it better for necrophiles to take their pleasure with what remains of the old gal, or for ghouls to cook her up into a delicious fricassée? The corpsefucking cannibals in Gorotica answer this question with an enthusiastic “por que no los dos?” Their debut Morbid Menagerie explores topics like having sex with corpses (“The Necrophile,” “Corpsefucker,”  and “Desecrating the Remains of a Virgin”), eating corpses (“Graveyard Cannibal” and “Consuming the Flesh of the Dead”), and copulating with the open wounds of what are presumably also corpses (“Knife Wound Gratification”). Here are twenty-two tracks of deathgrind that play most often like a filthy hybrid of Caustic Wound and Autopsy. If that sounds fun to you, don’t hesitate to belly up to the feast. Morbid Menagerie is a taboo-tweaking good time, a carnival of fucking1 and eating2 that’s distinguished by Gorotica’s talent for packing even the shortest of these songs with memorable riffs.

At almost forty minutes, Morbid Menagerie is long for the genre–but this “cannibalistic deathgrind cult from the backwoods of Sydney” makes up for it with ace songwriting and smart sequencing. The cuts alternate between straight-up grind that flies past (“Teeth Removed with a Sledgehammer,” all twelve seconds of “Forced Headache Cluster”) and longer compositions that hew to more traditional songwriting structures. The variety keeps things from getting gamey, and chief grave robber Jon Von Cannibale and his associates excel in both modes. You can whet your appetite with small plates like “Graveyard Cannibal” before digging into the meatier fare of “The Necrophile” and “Knife Wound Gratification.” Axeman Gaspard La Verge keeps you stuffed with riffs the whole time, stirring in just enough catchy groove to keep things engaging.

Jon Von Cannibale serves up a smörgåsbord of extreme vocal techniques on Morbid Menagerie. He works mostly in a deep growl a la the aforementioned Caustic Wound, but you’ll also hear him deploy a hardcore-adjacent shriek on “Severed Head Pincushion,” burps in the vein of Afterbirth on “Obsession with Mutilation,” and slammy squeals halfway through “The Endless Urge.” Von Cannibale seems to have a knack for choosing the right style at the right moment, and his vocals pair effectively with the main course of La Verge’s riffs. The hayseed affectations and goofy pseudonyms add up to a gimmick, but it’s light on its feet and everything strikes the right tone. Sodomy slammers Slob could take a lesson from Gorotica in how to pull off a backwoods schtick with wit, style, and–most crucially–skill.

I was well into covering Morbid Menagerie before I even realized that it’s an independent release. A label probably would have pressured Gorotica to do some editing, and helped the band find the resources to lean less heavily on programmed drums. Those are just hiccups to these ears; Morbid Menagerie is a savage and excellent debut that very much wants you dead–and that’s just the beginning of its plans for you. It lands easily among my favorite deathgrind albums of the year. This is another one that probably would have gotten past us without the AMG readership, so props to commenter Jirishanca for plating this morsel up for the staff.

Tracks to Check Out: “The Necrophile,” “Graveyard Cannibal,” “Left to Bleed”

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Fucking corpses, that is.
  2. Eating corpses, that is.
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