(Season of Mist)

01. Grave Condition
02. Unholy Misconception
03. Deride Jesus
04. Defective Fornication
05. Slaughtered
06. Feeding On Cadavers
07. Inferior Divinity
08. Incarnation of Impurity
09. To Relieve The Mortal Flesh Of Pain
10. Swallowing Decay

RATING: 7.5/10

An appropriate band name and an even more appropriate album title, the Dutchmen known as SEVERE TORTURE have made consistency a focal point of their ever-growing catalogue of U.S. style death metal. I was actually surprised to see that "Slaughtered" is the third album from the unit that I've reviewed for this very site and since the group isn't exactly known for reinventing themselves from one album to the next, there is not a great deal more to write about "Slaughtered" than has already been written about 2005's "Fall of the Despised" and 2007's "Sworn Vengeance", except that an alternate title for the new one could be "Vengeful Slaughter of the Despised".

What is most important to recognize with "Slaughtered" is that it is another case of death metal done right; the main point being that SEVERE TORTURE is damn good at what they do. The band turned the corner with "Fall of the Despised", mainly by writing more compelling songs, tightening up the delivery, and coming up with more than their fair share of vicious riffs. That continues to be the case with "Slaughtered", an album that departs little from "Sworn Vengeance", yet offers just enough distinctiveness and slight contrasts in shading to make it stand on its own. What that does not mean is that with "Slaughtered" the act has become much more than a Dutch band playing a tried and true brand of USDM that owes debts to the likes of CANNIBAL CORPSE (sans the challenging musical development heard from the American act). Fortunately, with the way SEVERE TORTURE guts its victims with riff serrations and body-punch blasting such comparisons can be made in a most complimentary fashion. Those choosing the route of nauseatingly thorough track examination will hear moments reminiscent of other well-known U.S. acts, as well as European acts flatteringly mimicking USDM (e.g. VOMITORY), but the point is easily driven home without going down that gravel road. Well, except that you should at least check out the DEICIDE patterns on "Defective Fornication" and think about vocalist Seth Van De Loo and his role in replacing Glen Benton on the European tour. The point is that to SEVERE TORTURE's credit, they still manage to keep it interesting and come up with relatively creative ways to tweak the arrangements; "Feeding on Cadavers" is a case in point.

The tendency upon first or second spins of "Slaughtered" would be to somehow denigrate SEVERE TORTURE for staying the course. But just like previous albums, the more you listen the more you realize that the Dutch dealers of death have become quite skilled at writing/recording death metal and still keep their albums concise enough to avoid wearing out their welcome by the time it is all said and done. To resurrect a previously used phrased that is most relevant here, when it comes to SEVERE TORTURE and "Slaughtered" familiarity does not breed contempt.


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