Cyclone Empire (2012)
This is a very pleasant surprise. Looking at the horrific cover splattered with gore and blood I expected brutal over the top relentless death metal when I'd press "play" on my iPhone. But after the intro, I was taken aback by how accessible this album is (to a metalhead).
These Dutch death metallers remind me of Supreme Pain, although they are not as melodic, or, even more, Prostitute Distigurement. They have the same knack for making every single riff ridiculously catchy while maintaining brutal and heavy overall sound, as well as the ability to melt old school floridian death metal with modern production. Bodyfarm (great name!) would, however, add a great deal of thrash into their songs. In fact, I'd call this a death/thrash album. I hear some Sepultura and Machine Head in places and definitely a lot of "Spiritual Healing" era Death but it comes and goes and the band's creativity is intact, if not strengthened by those influences.
Interestingly, Bodyfarm is not all gore and blood. The Fear Factory-tinged "Demons Of The Cross" is a very persuasive, intelligent and factually true tale of religious oppression of "superchristians" over the non-believers, or generally everyone else, including members of their own faith who dare to have a slightly different take on it. The call to arms by the vocalist whereby he exhorts us to "pick up your weapons and fight religious oppression" is heavier and more powerful to me than extreme riffing alone. As if you didn't get the point, "Charlatan Messiah" drives it further into your skull.
Sometimes Bodyfarm begins to steer too closely to territory normally occupied by the likes of Bloodbath, but most of the time they quickly recover. "Malevolence" is a scathing indictment against humanity that is on an inevitable path to self destruction, complete with sounds of warfare in the background. It is easy to disbelief religious dogmas "as I watch humanity digging its grave" but its mandatory when you see those religious "messiahs" hastening that world demise themselves, instead of obeying their alleged message of salvation, mercy and love.
When organized and affluent, Christianity is a joke and that's a fact, perhaps the biggest Ponzi scheme next to democracy. Neither is a reality in this world full of greed, hatred and intolerance, but both morphed into imposters that took over the originals until you can no longer tell what they are really about. The church and state are both guilty of dealing more vinegar to the bees than honey, fear rather than love, war rather than peace and condemnation over grace and mercy toward those who need it. True democracy and true Christlikeness exist only in the hearts and minds of a few who have neither power nor gold.
As for music, most tracks are rather nonmelodic but for a very notable exception "I Am The War" bursting with catchiness alongside epic melodies reminiscent of early Amon Amarth. It is, in my opinion, Bodyfarm's finest hour, a small very delicious masterpiece. The closer, Massacre cover "Cryptic Realms", with structure and riffing similar to "Epidemic" ("Reign in Blood", Slayer) wraps up a very even and impressive album.
I would appreciate a bit more melody and that epicness next time but you guys deserve the score you see below, already. Recommended if you like your death metal catchy without sacrificing brutality and production values.
Rating: 5 / 6
Composed by Dethster4life