mercoledì 28 giugno 2017

Lubricant - "Swallow This" (Svart Records, 2017)

Band: Lubricant
Title: Swallow This
Genre: Death'n'Roll
Year: 10th March 2017
Time: 41 min
Rating: 74/100

I wonder why many early Finnish death metal bands were never able to realize their long-held debut album releasing, at most, an EP of big success among the tape traders. An example of this is given by Abhorrence, a band now considered even fundamental by the death metal fans despite they lived only for one year in which they released a demo and an EP. But, in addition of them, there are also Lubricant, another relevant Finnish band that chose their current moniker in 1990 after 2 years as O.V.D. and that are reunited recently. Precisely, Lubricant reunited in 2015 with EVERY original member. And, as usually happens in cases such as this, a compilation with the better works of Lubricant was released during these times by the Finnish label Svart Records. More specifically, "Swallow This", that yet it is noted for one of the most absurd cover artworks in the death metal history, is composed of the "Swallow the Symmetric Swab" demo (1992) and the "Nookleptia" EP (1993), two very different productions that were remastered here in according to the original intentions of the band.

Well, the compilation starts with "Swallow the Symmetric Swab", the third demo by Lubricant. Comprising 5 songs, it shows a death metal sound still enough conventional but pretty dynamic also due to a drummer able to give a lot of sparkle to every song. In fact, since the opening number "Telesyphillus of Exfetation", the songs range from (many) blast-beat assaults to ultra-sinister doom tempos typical of the Finnish death metal that, in certain occasions, remind to me even the snowing aura recreated by the early Celtic Frost, and without forgetting some more thrashy tempos. All this is played with a dark and simple riffing WITHOUT guitar solos, also if their total absence take off a bit of atmosphere to the entire music.

Anyway, Lubricant offer some little particular features: the first one, considering the presence of two singers in the line-up, is given by the double vocals divided between growls not particularly profound (the main vocals) and demented screams about gore and absurd medical themes à la early Carcass; instead, the second feature, the most important because it will be exploited in the following EP, is given by some punkish mid-tempos with a very good groove, and they there are starting from the second track "Paralysis Bulbaris" but are sublimated especially into "Inflammatorious Pulmonectomia". This last track is also my favorite one of the entire demo also because it is very different from the rest of the tracklist even to effects very strange for a death metal band (listen to believe!), also if they are a bit inappropriate but funny at the same time.

Said this, "Swallow the Symmetric Swab" selled 2000 copies and was very appreciated by the tape traders also because one of the copies ended into the hands of the small German label Morbid Records. So it released in 1993 the better production, in my opinion, of Lubricant: the "Nookleptia" EP.
Firstly, there is need to say that the cover artwork of "Nookleptia" is, as you can see, the same of this compilation. Secondly, Lubricant developed now their death metal in a very unpredictable direction so to an even experimental sound without distorting the original wickedness and atmosphere of their genre of reference, creating, in brief, songs even more rich of tempo changes and imaginative ideas.
All this is determined also by the introduction of 3 new features: the first one is the (rare) use of...the clean vocals into the songs "Thrombose" and, especially, "Laceration of Vasoconstrictive Emotion" (where there are also some spoken parts); some crepuscular melodies of guitar on very slow tempos always in the aforementioned songs; and clear rock influences into the guitars (for example, listen to the truly amazing main riff of "Declaration of Galloping Consumption"), which let to these 4 guys to run wild with a bunch of rock'n'roll parts full of a literally contagious groove...and there are also passages where the hardcore punk derivations are crystalline! So, Lubricant don't plays pure death metal anymore here but, more precisely, a death'n'roll contaminated by punk in the wake of Furbowl and Entombed (that released in the same 1993 the seminal "Wolverine Blues" through their historic label Earache Records), both two of the first pioneers of the death'n'roll. That's why Lubricant are relevant: because they were one of the very first Finnish bands to play death'n'roll.
But unfortunately, the adventure of Lubricant ended soon after this ambitious EP. In fact, they participated in the same 1993 to a split by Morbid Records dedicated to a certain Zander that was beaten to death by some Nazis but, then, Lubricant stopped completely their activities. It is a real shame that the experience of Lubricant ended in this way because, if "Swallow the Symmetric Swab" is good but nothing more, "Nookleptia", instead, promised a bunch of fantastic things. This is due to memorable and courageous tracks like "Declaration of Galloping Consumption", "Laceration of Vasoconstrictive Emotion (totally unpredictable because it range from slow and crepuscular parts to ultra-violent blast-beat explosions with lacerating screams) and "Expulsive Gastroscopia" (that contains some very contagious rock'n'roll groovy moments). Now that Lubricant are finally back, they have to restart what was left in "Nookleptia"..."grinding and rolling like it was 1991".


1 - Telesyphillis of Exfetation
2 - Paralysis Bulbaris
3 - Imperious Radiopraxis (Tabidus Scatter)
4 - Inflammatorious Pulmonectomia
5 - Pulpectomy
6 - Monohemerous Joy
7 - Thrombose
8 - Declaration of Galloping Consumption
9 - Laceration of Vasoconstrictive Emotion
10 - Expulsive Gastroscopia
11 - Semistarvation


Sami Paldanius - vocals
Sami Vitasaari - guitars/vocals
Tero Järvensivu - bass
Aki Ala-Kokko - drums

Svart Records:

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