Friday, March 11, 2011


The great "lost" Buzzoven album slated for Hydrahead finally sees its day, to a musical landscape vastly changed and more than likely unwilling to make room for such an overlooked obscurity from sludge's halcyon days. Buzzoven is another band whose catalogue is in the throes of a rerelease campaign and it seems sadly opportunistic (but financially sensical) for Hydrahead to finally be releasing this NOW, but here it is, offered up for appraisal and assessment. It's not better than anything else in the Buzzoven discography, nor is it particularly mind-blowing of its own accord, but it is an excellent slab of wholly angry and incredibly disgusted southern sludge in the vein of Eyehategod or Rwake. But whereas Eyehategod had obvious periods of highs and lows and Rwake have cloaked themselves in artistic ambiguities disguised as metalisms, Buzzoven attack full frontal every fucking time. This isn't subtle music in any regard; it's a constant state of decimation and personal hatred directed outwards, where every song works to bludgeon repeatedly and every lyric can be reduced to a simple "fuck you." It's accusatory and demanding on its audience, allowing no wiggle room or philosophical hedging. There is only opinion, there is only one voice, and you'd better fucking listen. Drug abuse and its fallout figure prominently in the album's concept, with virtually every track paying homage or singing songs of some sort of narcotic elysium, painting a world where everything is violently colored and ready to rip through the seems of normalcy at any time. Buzzoven exist more or less only to hate you and get fucked up, and every track here demonstrates that intent to its fullest.
The band totally thrashes through 30 minutes in what seems 10, a sort of conceptualization of grindcore that actually plods and meanders for the good majority of its runtime but does so so convincingly that by the end of it all you're wondering what the fuck you actually heard in the way of songs. It really doesn't matter because everything Buzzoven ever did may as well be thought of as one long, drugged out, dropped out piece of sonic trash, a shitfire of rage and bilious retribution directed at everyone within striking distance. "Revelation: Sick Again" knows no true limit and acts accordingly, throwing its weight around oblivious to whomever is in proximity, easily identifying itself as the only item worthy of rapt attention in a world clogged with shit. The aim is drag you through it, the weapons are feedback, screams and drugs and the overall feeling is all dirt and grime and sweaty revulsion. Ten years ago this album might have made a far more lasting impact but now it comes across as nothing more than an apt demonstration of southern rage, a call to arms for fans of latter day Pantera and all things sludge. This album encourages a recognition of self and inner knowing that escapes a lot of modern metal, but it retains an epic distance from anything close to human, choosing to wallow in a primordial bloodbath of unbridled aggression and pointless limit-testing for the purposes of reaching some sort of endurance. Anger for the sake of anger, noise for the sake of noise. Yes, it's fucking heavy, and yes, it's fucking angry, but it really isn't anything else. I don't think that Buzzoven ever wanted to be; as musical nihilism it succeeds tremendously. As anything important, it falls flat.

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