The Thing About Traumatomy’s ‘Extirpation Paradigms’
The Thing About is a series of short, simple heavy metal reviews. Scroll down to the headings that interest you most or read the whole thing. The previous installment was about the album Wind by Frigoris.
The first time I heard Analepsy’s Atrocities from Beyond (2017), I knew I had found something special, not just the album, but the genre. Slamming brutal death metal was the heaviest thing I had ever heard and many is the day it brings the pain to help make the pain go away. Last year, Traumatomy contributed to this curious brand of succor with Extirpation Paradigms (2021).
Traumatomy is a number from outer space. It’s a five-member band with only four members present at any given time. That’s because the Russian band, whose live vocalist is Zarubin Kirill, records studio albums with Japanese vocalist Haruka Kamiyama. Despite this unusual situation, the band has produced an impressive amount of demos, EPs, splits and full-length studio albums with titles that broadcast its chosen subgenre: Transcendental Evisceration of Necrogenetic Beasts (2013), Beneficial Amputation of Excessive Limbs (2014), Transmutative Necromorphic Singularity (2016), Embodiment of Excruciation (2017). A recent addition to this body of ugliness is Extirpation Paradigms.
Extirpation Paradigms is the band’s third full-length studio album. It’s SBDM as you know and love it. Downtuned guitars chug and squeal, accentual drums drop in and out of blast beats, and the vocals are so guttural they sound like something in your kitchen sink that would like out, please. The lyrics don’t hold any surprises either, expressing violence and social decay through obscure words like “neurofibromitosis” and “ontogenesis” and ungainly phrases like “activation of compensatory mechanisms” and “monument of incarnate depravity.” You may not understand precisely, but you get the point, because the point is that they sound cool. Extirpation Paradigms is the sound of a Mark IV tank, one with a red cross slathered on the side, being air-dropped into a crowd and hitting the ground, treads spinning.
The cover art also holds few surprises. Something extraterrestrial, something that appears to be mostly hypermutating bone matter and pustules, has come through a hole in the sky and infected the planet, sweeping up bodies and sucking them dry. Ukrainian artist (and Kadavereich bassist) Daemorph has contrasted the darker colors — gray, black and blue — with toxic orange for an image that stands out from its peers, even ones he himself has done for bands like Aborted Fetus and The Black Dahlia Murder. It looks especially rad on the vinyl disc’s center label, where the goo has clearly gotten the best of some poor bloke. This is how TSHTF: in a biogothic nightmare.
The Thing About
The thing about Extirpation Paradigms is the bass drops (0:28). There are a few on each side and they’re maaaaassive. The nastiness plaguing the world in the cover art may have come from above, but these things take you down, down to the dwellers in the depths. They completely interrupt the flow of the music, which is aesthetically dubious, but I savor the ridiculous audacity of each one and wouldn’t want the music any other way.
In conclusion, the only weakness to Extirpation Paradigms is that there’s little aside from the bass drops to distinguish it from other recent entries in this category or to distinguish one track from another — which isn’t a problem if you’re into SBDM. Of the records I’ve purchased recently, this is one of the most satisfying.
Note: I quit the Medium Partner Program, so I’m not doing this for money. It is nice, however, to know someone’s reading. By all means, clap or comment to let me know somebody’s out there, and feel free to share this on social media.