As the title of Surgikill‘s debut full length Sanguinary Revelations suggests, the themes here are flooded with dramatic bloodshed and piles of bones. Horror, if you will, is the backbone of this album and with shades of Repulsion, Autopsy and even a Hooded Menace vibe at times, it is indeed a fun take on the goreific cheesy movies of the 80’s that still to this day keep fans coming back in droves. And the beautiful throwback artwork from Mario Lopez is a bonus, it does a great job of selling the death metal that lies just under the coffin lid.
One look at the metal archives page of this band’s membership reads like a who’s who in gore soaked metal, but more to the point it really shows a busy bunch of artists. Luckily all this does is give a broader base to pull from and yet another outlet for all involved to get creative with. One thing that sticks out on this page is the amount of vocalists credited — 4 out of 6 to be exact. A cursory spin through the slower paced death march of “Murderous Thirst” and these varied vocal deliveries set a warped, psychotic tone. Growls, chants and deep gurgles all lend a murderous patchwork that plays with your ears as well as sound more intense than one vocalist ever could.
Varied vocal duties aren’t the only surprise here, though. Take the classic Swedeath influence of “Realm Of the Resurrected” or the grindcore speediness of “Sanguinac” and you’ve got a multi-headed snake capable of striking from any angle and at a moments notice. But really the big star here is the guitar tones. They’re way up front in the mix and come across like a bastardized version of the legendary HM2 buzz. Throughout each of these ten tracks the band make an astute point of making every riff and insane chord progression as loud as possible. Between the brain teasing vocals and ear shredding guitar volume Surgikill effectively slay, period.
As if everything mentioned thus far wasn’t enough, the band dusts off the last song from vocalist Stevo de Caixao’s former band Impetigo. It’s a track Impetigo worked on but never got the chance to put to tape due to their break up. Here, we get the chance to experience “Planet Of the Vampires” and bask in all its Incantation-meets-thrash glory. The vocals sound like a zombified growl and the stellar guitar work near song’s end is hands down some of the best on the album. though this track was initially meant for placement elsewhere, it fits perfectly on this album and furthers the cultish horror approach they’ve fostered.
On Sanguinary Revelations, Surgikill doesn’t break any new ground but they do resuscitate a time in death metal that used horror as an ethos and brutal playing as its calling card. The band is comprised of a laundry list of scene veterans that only help matters in the sense of giving it an air of realism that your average group of throwback practitioners could never get across or do correctly for that matter. Put plainly, if you like your death metal loud as hell and steeped in old horror and grimy sounds then this album will be your new favorite.