7000 DYING RATS- Season In Hell (Hewhocorrupts Inc.)
Likely winners of the award for Strangest Most Awesome Band Name Ever, 7000 DYING RATS also get the distinction of being one of the weirdest active bands in the metal world, even though a lot of this album really isn’t even metal at all. When Season In Hell
does on rare occasion conform to the confines of traditional music, it generally results in utter grindcore and sludge annihilation. Featuring two members of Chicago sludge/thrash metallers LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR (guitarist/bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Steve Rathbone and guitarist/vocalist Donald James Barraca), its easy to see where 7000 DYING RATS get their metal side from. However, this album is so chock-full of randomness and oddities that its almost unclassifiable as a whole. The bizarre and sometimes hilarious song titles are another clue that this is clearly not meant to be taken seriously at all, what with ironic metal names such as “Altar Of Goat Skulls”, “Hack To Bits”, “Satanium Bloodlust”, and “Death Hammer Of The Bearded Ones” nudging up right alongside the goofiness of “Argument At Your Local Record Store”, “Jesus Farted”, and the big winner.....“We Had ‘Dying’ In Our Name Way Before All Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along.” It should be noted that the album was recorded by one of the best new producers in the business in Sanford Parker, who has worked with bands such as MINSK, YAKUZA, and BURIED AT SEA. Also making a guest appearance is Scott Kelly of NEUROSIS, who does keyboards and vocals on the album’s darkest tune, the ironically titled “A Real Kneeslapper.” Though this is an admittedly incoherent and disjointed record, Season In Hell
is a purely entertaining album for those who like their electronica/death metal/classical/rap/obscure horror movie samples with more than a bit of over-the-top humor.
The standard metal parts on this album rip just as much face as anyone, with the insanely awesome “Altar Of Goat Skulls” providing some vintage grindcore blasting, before it gets interrupted by some strange other-worldly keyboard section, which also takes over “Annihilator The Devastator” after the initial metal flurry. “Hack To Bits” gets its old school extreme metal on in similar fashion, and “Bigfoot Destroy” shows off some of that LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR doom influence, along with a taste of some of the obligatory movie sampling at the end. The best pure metal song on here is probably “Satanium Bloodlust”, busting out the old school death metal in full effect, which means throwing in the creepy sampled vocals of women pledging their allegiance to the infernal ruler himself. “Death Hammer Of The Bearded Ones” is another killer combo of death metal mixed with the sludgiest of doom, as is the unsettling “Horrible” and the brutal “Grind Fluffer”.The only other metal tunes here are “The Wound (Gapeth Open)" and “Balls Of Bigotry.” Despite there being 28 songs on the album, the total running time is roughly only 48 minutes, with tracks like the inexplicable “Eddie Money” lasting a grand total of 5 seconds. It should also be mentioned that this album features likely the greatest cover of BLACK SABBATH’s “Paranoid” ever, along with completely hilarious cassette-quality live renditions of JOURNEY’s “Any Way You Want It” and a bit of JUDAS PRIEST’s “Living After Midnight” thrown into the crazy mix of the album’s second to last track “Hellcatcher.” The back-to-back punch of “Argument At Your Local Indie Record Store” and “Your Studied Indifference Is Duly Noted” provide some great comic relief, while the attempt at classic rock in “Rock ‘N Roll Weapon” ends up actually sounding cooler than just an ironic piss-take, which is also the nature of “We Had ‘Dying’ In Our Name Way Before All Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along”, as the band does an dead-on metalcore interpretation. The funniest part of the album has to be the rap number “We Want Weez-E”, which tells the story of what exactly is up with drummer Weasel Walter’s pants (“1 million BPM’s and the room just smells like ass/Incense, it’s the only motherfuckin defense”). Raise your hand if you’re sure!
This is not exactly an album that needs a lot of over-analyzing; in a nutshell, it’s just pure psychotic enjoyment. Many bands try to do the humor metal thing and fail, but 7000 DYING RATS certainly take it and run. It’s a successful formula because even through the chaos they still crank out some solid metal tunes that get the head banging. Season In Hell
is good for a laugh and some pure ass kicking fun.