Seep – Hymns to the Gore Review

Let there be leakage. With Hymns to the Gore, Seep oozes up into your yard with eight tracks of death-doom that are the aural equivalent of a septic tank malfunction. This is music that sticks to the bottom of your shoe and leaves a brownish-yellow stain on the living room carpet. Vomitus, a gentleman from rural Maine, is the band’s sole member. It’s not surprising that he works alone–would you volunteer to spend time with the mind behind “ENCASED IN SHIT” and “JIGSAW FACEFUCK”? Let’s wade into the muck to see if we can contain this creeping biohazard before it spills over onto the neighbors’ property… and, for God’s sake, wipe your feet before you come back into the house.

Hymns to the Gore is stuffed full of riffs that crawl along the ground because they haven’t learned to walk yet. Downtuned, lurching riffage, heavily accented with pinch harmonics, is the order of the day. Are there samples of dialogue from horror movies? You bet there are! They pop up in the beginning, the middle, and the end of songs, clarifying the topic at hand when Vomitus’s mostly indecipherable vocals aren’t up to the job. “GORGING ON THE GUTPILE,” for example, opens up with a lengthy sample describing a killer who likes to feed on his victims. Keyboards rear their head occasionally to add some welcome variety to the proceedings, with grind elements working their way into many of the choruses. There may be moments of fun along the way, but Seep is working from a familiar playbook and there’s ultimately little to distinguish Hymns to the Gore from the legion of acts tapping this nostalgic vein.

Boredom is likely to do you in here well before the meat hooks and such can have their way with you. Whether you’re “ENCASED IN SHIT,” “SWIMMING IN SEWAGE,” or “ADDICTED TO RANCIDITY,” it all feels like you’re slogging through the same toxic mire. Some of this has to do with a production job that bills itself as “raw” but registers in practice as, well, “encased in shit.” The real culprit, however, is those pesky riffs. Some stand out more than others (single “JIGSAW FACEFUCK,” the crawling dissonant “HORRIFIC FETAL MUTATION”), but the good, decent, and bad riffs are all built from the same few simple ingredients. As the tracks dribble past, each one starts to feel like it’s seeping into the next. That can’t be what Vomitus had in mind when he named his project Seep. 1

Some highlights float to the surface on occasion. “PEDOPHILE GENITALIA REMOVAL” matches its spirit of can-do social activism with a structure that works all day long. “HORRIFIC FETAL MUTATION” is a murky, ugly miscarriage of a thing that sounds like it was recorded inside the septic tank where this whole review started. It’s my favorite number on Hymns to the Gore because it feels like the ultimate expression of Vomitus’s creative vision. These bits of nasty goodness are ultimately just kernels of corn lodged in the pile of poop that is Seep’s full-length debut–enticing, perhaps, but nothing you can bite down into without getting a mouthful of the surrounding fecal matter.

Ferox is an avowed fan of death-doom, gore metal, and Gore Metal, so I was excited to sink down into the sewage with Seep. There were moments when I enjoyed letting Vomitus splat me with shit-cakes, but the experience as a whole left me with a disappointing lack of stains on both body and soul. If Seep excretes a second batch of songs, I’ll probably check them out to see if Vomitus manages to crack the gross-out code. But if you’ve got a taste for scat and you’re looking to get crusted up, there are better sumps than Hymns to the Gore to wallow in.

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 256 kb/s mp3
Label: Extremely Rotten Productions
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: July 8, 2022

Show 1 footnote

  1. “Seep” is, without question, a quality death-doom verb–so well done to Vomitus on that front.
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