September 2013 National Music Reviews

Reviews: Stomach Earth – Self-Titled

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Stomach Earth
Self-Titled
Black Market Activities

Street: 07.16
Stomach Earth = Disma + Lycus + Godflesh
Stomach Earth is the solo project of Mike “Gunface” McKenzie (Red Chord), and is being branded as a funeral doom record, although there are industrial sounds floating throughout, and the album isn’t sorrowful so much sorrowful as menacing. It’s this distinction that makes the doom moniker an uncomfortable fit, and distinguishes Stomach Earth. It’s too aggressive and confrontational to be a solely doom record, even though the pace is glacial. In some ways, Stomach Earth sounds like what I thought heavy metal would sound like when I was a kid and could only judge by record covers. In this case, though: no hair metal, only darkness. The vocals are bowel-shakingly low, and the guitar-work is cyclical and dense. Ancillary instrumentation and effects—a string line here, a vocal pattern there—are haunting and sparse. It all fits as a satisfying whole, particularly if you’re looking for an uncomfortable, dark experience. –Peter Fryer

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