Yo, psst! Have you heard Stabbing? I, too, laughed when I first heard the name, but I assure you this is no laughing matter. This is serious brutal death metal. Now you’re thinking this sounds like a cult. Allow me to settle that concern up front. Yes, this is a cult, and you wouldn’t believe what they want you to eat. Are you ready to be inducted?
When musicians I admire share what music excites them, I pay attention. A while back, on the order of one whose wisdom is best not ignored, I set off in pursuit of this “sickest in the land” Texas death metal outfit. Inspecting my first quarry, the 2021 EP Ravenous Psychotic Onslaught, I couldn’t help laughing again when clocking the song title “Excrement Sarcophagus”. Then I heard those riffs. I must impress this upon you twice: nothing about this is funny—except maybe how quickly I flung my money at the band (or the cackling I swear I heard on the southerly wind that day).
Now that the debut full-length Extirpated Mortal Process is before you, I implore you to consider in all honesty whether you wish to proceed because, from this point onward, there is no turning back. Are you willing to pick up the knife? Are you devoted unto death? Very well, then. Let the nature of the cult be revealed.
We worship the bear. By her will, we gather, hunt, and feast on flesh. When Bridget Lynch parts her hair forward—donning holy rage and the sacred tongue—the transubstantial ritual has begun. Woe to anyone who would disturb her sanctuary or, taking spoils out of turn, defy her command; ye are but fat to the flames of her rabid lust to break fast and feed the many. Lynch speaks in the old language of the divine beast incarnate, exhalant and slaked in gore. Whether delivered in the frenzied cadence of the maul or the articulate snarl around ligament and bone, no matter. True believers understand and we do her bidding.
We live and die by the blade and the multifaceted violences that lictors Marvin Ruiz and Meryl Martinez execute with sovereign skill. As you might guess, this TXDM is well-toothed and notched to create deep grooves, each slash, slice, hack, or stab striking a different balancing point between precision and abandon. Spidery technical riffs cut through palm-muted patterns with surgical dexterity; grimy slams wobble and yaw like an overlong crosscut saw. Routinely eviscerating songs for parts in their mania for groove, the two calibrate their performances for tactical utility. Ruiz’s serrated guitar murk recedes enough to give Martinez’s bludgeoning bass added impact. Conversely, she squats so deep in the wang-dang pocket that he is free to terrorize riffs with vicious incisions of pinch harmonics and vibrato. As a rare delectable treat, Ruiz will sometimes indulge kindred in a solo display of unhinged ecstasy after a particularly gratifying razor wire strangulation and dissection.
Above all else, this is a cult of the drum. There is a reason why Andriy Tkalenko (Daemorph Art) arranged the cover around a throned, hydra-headed, multi-limbed, fully implemented murder machine, why those rehearsal videos on YouTube invariably capture the band working at close quarters in the round. The circle is life, and Rene Martinez is the pumping engine at its center that keeps blood spurting until the bitter, glorious end. Muthafuckers always complain—the drums click, they ping, they’re too hot, too cold, never just so—not understanding that, if the feeling’s right, a bucket or can will suffice. Remove these infidels’ ears, they do not deserve them! Martinez conducts a lustrous, tiered ceremony. His kick bass is on wheels, laying down a thunderous foundation with such bionic regularity that possession is presumed. Up top cymbals crash, dazzle, and sculpt the groove’s drama. Ladies and brutalfolx, you want this big daddy coming right down the lane bells aclang like it’s Christmas and gimme-gimme something. Front and center, the mighty snare prods and snaps riffs with elasticity in the idiom of gut instinct. The shaman of rat-a-tat-tat releases us of sanity and impels us to join the ceremonial dance.
On Extirpated Mortal Process, Stabbing rampage through a dozen songs at a relentless pace, yet manage to stave off fatigue through meticulous craft and shapeshifting dynamics. Riffs are not simply tacked onto each other with additive monotony. Each one is flayed, disemboweled, or otherwise subjected to organic decomposition to tell a tale, inventively narrated by this unit of mad surgeons. “Inhaling the Dead” gets the party started off right. Its straight time chug is underpinned by an intoxicating swing to induce immediate psychotic frenzy. Martinez blasts so much propulsion out of the crawling slam finish, quite possibly the slowest passage on the record, that it circumvents rationality. In the full-on maul of “Razor Wire Strangulation”, Lynch slavers over her prey, admonishing her den to “reach in and take out whatever”, as Ruiz and Martinez careen frightfully between bludgeoning power chords and unfurling entrails of tremolo. “Southern Hacksaw Execution” is a splattering grind until chopping gets to feeling real good and syncopated. On the title track, Ruiz scales a daredevil chutes-and-ladders riff before putting on a clinic, turning the riff inside out and embroidering it with harmonics and flourishes.
Thanks to some responsive mastering, the middle tracks ripen to exude added savor and tang. On “Leishmaniasis” and “Visions of Eternal Suffering”, you can hear the tensile stretch of Rene Martinez’s snare skins as he rides the beat or goads it from behind. Meryl Martinez’s bass audibly warms and wobbles, adding character to the latter track. Lynch sounds utterly terrifying on “Final Flesh Feast” and “Stabbing”, especially when growling her “inhuman, sickening desire to feed on the flesh”.
It’s difficult to reclaim logic long enough to distinguish favorites while listening to an album designed to unleash the savagery within. Nonetheless, the two subsequent tracks stand out, if for no other reason than how easily they annihilate my thinking mind. The “musty and leech ridden” technical slam-doom riff of “Visceral Liquid Terror” lurches out of time and straight into my lizard brain, crumpling my body in bestial reflexes. You can try counting that shit on “Slashed Throat Awakening”, but why not just enter the circle and let your body take over? It knows better than you do anyway. A blinding blizzard, “It Ends With Flames” culminates in monstrous slams and sopping wet violence—undoubtedly a finishing move you’d think, were it not for one more follow-up, “Pulsing Wound”, which features a glorious, celebratory breakdown. The mindless replay value of this sick gospel is off the charts, guaranteed to decimate any resistance.
So, initiate, you’ve survived the sacrificial ritual and now, standing before the very end, the high, wild priestess summons you to the final feast. And what are we eating, you ask? Why, thirty-five roasted pigs, of course—all crispy and basted. No more thinking required. Say it with us, “I take the knife and start slashing”. Lechon.