Internal Organs External – The Brutality of Tomorrow Review

Live free, slam hard—that’s the motto for much of what modern slam throws down. It’s a simple art born of specific roots that’s lived through inbred breakdown after inbred breakdown. But I come back to it, and you, potential reader, probably do too if you’ve made it beyond a cursory glance at the genre tags to this article. So, let’s be honest, if you’re really a slam-addicted fiend, it doesn’t matter what the score below says. Knowing this, Internal Organs External—the one-man machine of Arizona’s own Vince Otero—does their absolute worst to snap your neck and numb your senses, aiming to be a 35 minute injection of dopamine for whatever mind or body-crushing activity you have queued up. Leg day? Let’s slam. Monday request fest? Let’s slam. Email chain with 30 replies all ‘thank you’ messages? Get the fuck out—The Brutality of Tomorrow awaits.

For as much as it does indeed slam, Internal Organs External does not break the mold in any meaningful manner, but as the chainsaw massacre cover art would suggest, your limbs are gonna fly one way or the other. So how far from the slample-chug-slam-slowerchug1 formula does this vision of slam sway? Well, not very far, but at least Internal Organs External mostly exempts us from slample slaughter. Of course, other successful modern slam acts, like Snuffed on Sight or Bodybox, tie together the fun of C-movie slamples into the mix, offsetting the campiness through force with odd chord inclusions and twisted deathgrind features. Internal Organs External lacks that sort of musical diversity, instead opting to drill into classically thick riffs with a tomahawk steak guitar tone, a rhythmic backbone punctuated by deep bass booms, and a persona that you can smell.

Because of the similar and simple nature of a majority of the riffwork offered in the field, standout vocals go a long way in keeping the album moving forward. Sometimes, the minor addition of the robotic vocal outro on an otherwise painfully basic number like “Soaked In Obliteration” is just the right touch. At other times, the most gnarled and powerful ones, Otero distills snarling animal energy into brutal guttural squalls, stuck hog squeals, and manic percussive howls (“Oil Embamment,” “Callous Psyche”). However, he also makes some poor choices in including his unaltered, natural “tough guy” spoken word voice, which rips the fury out of tracks with speed enough to turn your internal organs external (“Cybernetic Rebirth,”  “Flesh of the Ghost”).2

From the get-go, though, it’s clear that Otero does aim to highlight playful electronic additions, with heavy whooshing synths and cyber-filtered vocal runs, in an effort to stain his slam with additional novel sounds. “Proximity of Bone” captures his efforts best by accentuating the main chugging intro with a chirping synth melody that feels equal parts turntable scratching—a nu metal trope slammed sideways by the deathgrind assault that follows. Continuing the nu/slam fusion, “Entombed in Concrete” opens with a straight hip hop twinkle line that had me braced for a trv rap moment; instead, we’re treated to a cricket burp cacophony courtesy of guest Larry Wang (Fatuous Rump, Gorepot, and many, many more…), a true treat.

Unfortunately, for as many unique elements as Internal Organs External tries to sew in, it’s still standard slam at heart, and can’t do enough to convince me otherwise. I’m hopeful for Otero and his pursuits in the same way that I am for slam as a whole—it’s a special kind of mindlessness that I need in my life. As it stands, The Brutality of Tomorrow leads me out of that altered state too often for my own enjoyment, whether at hands of its own artistic choices or simply by being too long for what it is. In this frequently low bar, low ceiling lane, an album like this, though, is not a failure. Don’t stop the grind, Otero, the future is yours to crush.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 4 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Vicious Instinct Records | Bandcamp
Releases Worldwide: September 30th, 2022

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Slample: a spoken word sample from some form of audio-visual media that serves to fuel the only intelligible purpose of a slam song.
  2. Let us also take a moment to recognize how painful it is for any artist to remind us what year it is and the name of the band mid-track (“Cybernetic Rebirth”).
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