Visceral Infection is the debut full-length release by New Jersey deathgrind band Organ Dealer. Described as “psychologically torturous” instead of “straight-forward, goregrind stuff,”1 Visceral Infection features full-bodied production akin to Pig Destroyer’s Book Burner. Scott Moriarty – when he’s not a Sherlock Holmes supervillain2 – shares vocal duties with guitarist James Stivaly, who teaches bass and guitar at the School of Rock Montclair; they effectively utilize that patented scream/growl template. Riffs have much more in common with Cattle Decapitation than Brutal Truth or Fuck the Facts; Visceral Infection is more technical than most within the grindcore realm, although they still have the punkish chutzpah3 and dastardly abandon that characterizes the genre’s roots.
Organ Dealer understand that brevity is next to godliness (that’s the quote, right?) in grindcore; the album is only twenty minutes long with twelve tracks, of which only three break the two-minute mark. This is good, as despite their musicianship, Organ Dealer’s riffs generally aren’t strong enough to go very long, as demonstrated by the missteps “The Creeper” and “Pyrophilia.” The band writes extremely ferocious songs, but for the most part, they aren’t too different from what’s been done by every other grindcore band and some point or another. That’ll please the hardcore enthusiasts,4 but those who wish for the death/thrash diversity that makes Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Agorapocalypse so enthralling or the sheer technicality that rewards repeated, close listens as much as it does headbanging found on Pig Destroyer’s Phantom Limb will not find Visceral Infection engaging. The album occupies a curious state between deathgrind and traditional grindcore5 that makes it a tentative recommendation for “true” fans of either subgenre.
However, this album has some pretty solid points that hint at incredible talent. “Piss & Gasoline” has a pretty wicked breakdown. “Festering Maze” is groovy, and it’s not that awkward Pantera-esque groove, but genuine body-moving groove. “The Pear of Anguish” is a great bit of goregrind with suitably creepy subject matter. “Anencephaly” is just awesome, and “Small Talk” is both a biting social commentary and features some impressive bass work by Trevor Graham. Those five songs are fantastic examples of Organ Dealer’s potential, and they provide five awesome avenues for growth and development from this young band. Although it’s just a moderately-okay release, the several moments of cleverness on Visceral Infection show that following Organ Dealer’s career would be a worthwhile venture.
1. Intro – (1:29) – ★★☆☆☆
2. KPC-Oxa486 – (1:33) – ★★★☆☆
3. No Answer – (1:14) – ★★★☆☆
4. Piss & Gasoline – (1:38) – ★★★☆☆
5. The Pear of Anguish – (1:44) – ★★★★☆
6. Festering Maze – (1:28) – ★★★★☆
7. Anencephaly – (2:25) – ★★★☆☆
8. Consumed – (0:41) – ★★★☆☆
9. Black Dolphin – (2:17) – ★★☆☆☆
10. The Creeper – (2;14) – ★★★☆☆
11. Pyrophilia – (1:47) – ★★★☆☆
12. Small Talk – (2:24) – ★★★★☆
[UPDATE 15 March 2016: Changed the overall rating from three-and-a-half stars to three stars.]
1“Interview & Album Stream: Organ Dealer,” Invisible Oranges, accessed 24 November 2015, http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2015/07/interview-album-stream-organ-dealer/
2Readers love Sherlock Holmes references!
3What, am I a 45-year old Brooklynite now?
4No pun intended.
5Is that even a thing? Who writes this shit article?
6This song made my corgi freak out. Nice!