Sanguisugabogg – Homicidal Ecstasy Review

I first discovered the deliciously wretched Sanguisugabogg, not on the pages of this blog, but thanks instead to The Algorithm ™. There I was, click-clacking away to the dulcet tones of death metal, when my ears perked up. What was this? Why, none other than the opener of the ‘Bogg’s first full-length album Tortured Whole. I was immediately taken by their 2021 debut, and I spun that (very) bad boy many times, taken as I was by its grimy groove, brutal efficiency and the vast amounts of fun these low lives are clearly having as they squeal their way through such a pungent platter. Now here I sit, two years later, with their follow-up Homicidal Ecstasy grasped firmly in my muck-encrusted mockery of a hand. But how does it measure up? Don your splash guard, pop a few preventative antibiotics and let’s dive in.

If Mortician and Cannibal Corpse dined on a steaming plate of Vomit Forth, Sanguisugabogg is what would show up in their stomach contents during the autopsy later that night. They play a chuggy, muddy, tactless form of brutal death metal, complete with mid-paced walls o’ riff, shotgun double bass, the world’s most hollow and explosive of snares, and grotesque growls that every now and then descend into delightful pig squeals. This is straightforward, brutal death that’s having too much fun to notice your elitist scoff. If it were to take notice, however, I’d tuck that extended pinky in if I were you.

Let’s dispense with the niceties, shall we? Sanguisugabogg are nasty, brutish fiends who have produced a nasty, brutish album. Homicidal Ecstasy skips unnecessary atmospheric introductions, the horror movie clips and the slow, melancholic build in favor of a track called “Black Market Vasectomy.” The thick, mid-paced chug, colossal riffing and guttural groove might not reinvent the brutal death wheel, but like the blood-caked club a passing Cro-Magnon might use to bash in your precious homo sapien skull, it’s simple but effective. But “Black Market Vasectomy” is not just an evocative title; it’s also a savage blueprint for what’s to come. Across 45 minutes, Sanguisugabogg delivers riff after beefy, rotten riff, punctuated by a consistent grooviness that feels like an aural sledgehammer drubbing. “Testicular Rot” melds the thunderous feedback hum of Acid Bath with some solid staccato riffing and marks the moment, for me, where drummer and album MVP Cody Davidson comes into his own, hammering away on his hollow void of a snare, stomping a hole through the double bass drums and attacking his defenseless cymbals unmercifully. The result? A satisfying brutal death sojourn knocked slightly askew (and thus improved) by the madman behind the kit. “Skin Cushion” introduces a bloodthirsty freneticism that previous tracks only hinted at, and “Narcissistic Incisions” serves as a fitting homage to Cannibal Corpse’sNothing Left to Mutilate.”

What truly stops Homicidal Ecstasy from surpassing its predecessor is length. While it’s only 12 minutes longer than 2021’s Tortured Whole, those extra few minutes don’t do the album many favors. Indeed, the final few tracks find the ‘Bogg coasting on (still decidedly entertaining) fumes. Luckily, even though some of the bloom is off this rotten rose, there remain some tasty thorns to be had. Starting with “Mortal Admonishment” and culminating with “Feening for Bloodshed,” The thick, viscous riffs and the sharp, off-kilter menace that is Davidson’s drumming help to elevate what could easily descend into monotony. While the closing tunes tend to intermingle, this contrast remains remarkably effective, long after that echoing snare has fallen silent.

No one needed to read this review to draw their own conclusions about Sanguisugabogg. They’re one of several death metal bands of the moment, and they’ve received their fair share of glowing reviews and loads of love on social media. Here, though, you may find an unexpected dose of level-headedness. Is Homicidal Ecstasy a boring, one-note clone? Hardly. Does it mark the second coming of the death metal messiah? Nope. Instead, it’s a fun, vulgar slab of brutality produced by a fun, vulgar quartet who clearly love what they do. That’s good enough for me.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
Label: Century Media Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: February 3rd, 2023

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