"God's Spreading Cancer"

(Ibex Moon)

01. Dysangelium (intro)
02. God Is Dead
03. Stillborn Messiah
04. Celebrate the Chaos
05. Contemptation (To the Fire)
06. Abortion of Souls
07. Black Miracle
08. God's Spreading Cancer
09. Angelkiller
10. Inner Demons Rise!
11. Long Live the Death Cult
12. Slaughtered Remains
13. ... And the Sky Turns to Black (live)
14. Death Vomit (live)
15. Am I Crazy (live)

RATING: 8/10

When this album originally came out, in 2007, HEADHUNTER D.C. (no, I don't know what the D.C. stands for, but I've got five bucks on "Dead Christ" based on their song titles alone) had already been a band for two decades. Aside from a briefly-available release on the disastrous World War III label a decade or so ago, this band has been woefully underrepresented in the North American scene — a fact that Ibex Moon hopes to change. "God's Spreading Cancer" is the latest impressive addition to what's becoming a solid catalog of underappreciated death metal imports (not to mention, a likely travelogue of all the overseas bands who've let John McEntee sleep on their couch when INCANTATION tours the world...)

HEADHUNTER D.C. will be tagged with the "old-school" brush just because of their longevity, but their style has much to do with that thrash-infused strain of death metal that arose in the 90's -- fast, simple, pummeling, with classic melodic solos divebombing in and out of the speeding melee. Think VADER, OPPROBRIUM, or maybe DEFLESHED's sense of thrash with KRISIUN's blastbeats and enunciation. Add on an obsessive dollop of anti-Christian demagoguery, and you've got yourself a death metal record!

Obviously, there's nothing particularly new or innovative about what HEADHUNTER D.C. are doing. But they're excellent at this, and they tear into this material with the pit-bull fervor and a feverish enthusiasm. To non-death metal fans, calling music this barbaric "charismatic" would seem bizarre, but that's just what it is — simple, primally satisfying, and impossible not to headbang to. While calling individual songs memorable might be a stretch, the whole thing is laced with so many hooky riffs, pit-inducing breakdowns, and moments of cathartic abandon as to silence any minor complaints.

The production is solid, bright and forceful, the drums particularly pushing through the mix with precision, power and a lack of that annoying over-triggered sound that's ruined so many DM records. Throw in a few live bonus tracks, and you've got a release that'll leave you bruised and sweat-soaked by the end. HEADHUNTER D.C. will hopefully get some long-overdue worldwide acclaim with this release, and if we're lucky, a new album will be forthcoming shortly from these southern warriors. Good stuff!


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