Reviewed by The Mad Mane Machine
South Africa’s most brutal export Vulvodynia unleash their new full-length album Mob Justice, comprising of ten tracks of sheer unbridled African brutality.
Exactly 3 years since the release of their previous album, Vulvodynia return with fresh new sounds and lyrical concepts straight out of the depths of the dark continent. Instead of following up on the murder themes of Psychosadistic Designor the alien themes of Finis Omnium Ignorantiam each song is based around the horrors they face in their day to day lives in South Africa.
Slam and deathcore. Sometimes the lines are blurry, never mind the two are distinct genres on their own. The current crop of slam is inherently married to deathcore much to the chagrin of older slammers. With the two interchanging aspects, they have become more or less sister genres of late. To Vulvodynia’s credit, the most they took from deathcore was the pig squeals, appropriated along the main vocals. Their debut album “Mob Justice” is a slamming piece of bulldozer weight brutality.
Plodding through the sound quagmire, the slams obliterate much of the rocks on their path – given that in a bog, the rocks are way deeper, the slams essentially run that far below with their heaviness. Ready to turn the earth a capture-all soggy slime-pit. The title throws in the idea of a squad that passes on a judgment, which in an actual sense is an unfair set-up system since only the mob’s opinion reigns while the victim in question’s point of view is disregarded, if it even gets a chance of being voiced. Call it mob injustice. It ties to the music in a lyrical manner, with a devastating take to them in their raw honesty about social (mis)deeds, and plagues. Thought-provoking as they are, the jams convey brutal death metal bombardment.
The intro, Feast, pokes at the listener’s auditory system, readying them for a nerve-level assault. It is immediately followed by an all-out outpour of heavy and dendrite-plowing slams, which are interspersed with death metal solos. The slams act in place of the rhythms, majority of the time, that all the listener makes out is them, and vocals. The drums settle in place after a couple of listens, being a little low in the grand mix of the record.
The solos are albeit short, with the one in Blood Diamond taking a meagre forty seconds. There are three guest features, and brutal death metal is notorious for features, presenting a member each, from Malevolence, Gutalax, and The Black Dahlia Murder. Martin Matousek obliterates his appearance with a super-low guttural, it just rivals the bassist in what could be mistaken as the actual low-end. Duncan Bentley and Trevor Strnad share vocal duties on the second-best track of the album, Reclaim the Crown Part I: The Burning Kingdom. It is spastic in its leads accommodation, making it more enjoyable.
The best and the only fully lead-lead song, Echoes of the Motherland, passes along as an instrumental, generating the much-needed colour, besides the achromatic songs composed of slams, drums, and the obligatory solo – leads are few and far between. Cultural Misogyny perpetrates a putrid vocal refrain beyond the song’s half mark, catchy as hell, as it matches the slams it rides along on. It is not a bad record, but the repetitiveness of the slams can be a bit numbing.
At the end of the brutal day, Mob Justice satiates any and every slam deficiency, be it a day, weeks, or month old. While missing out on slam is missing out on copious loads of releases, it can be assuaged by an album such as this, since it hits at the very base of every slam requirement.