July 22, 2014

Stomach Earth - Stomach Earth

Written by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

Art by Sophie Penrose

This self-titled morass of a debut is the first solo offering from Mike "Gunface" McKenzie, founder of, and guitar player in, the Red Chord. Stomach Earth is a death-laced doom tar pit, weighty and laboured. The layered guitar work has various thicknesses of distortion, from subtle, wounded trembling to almost unrecognizable blasts of feedback. Likewise, the impossibly deep growls are layered and so deeply broken and obscured that they sound inhuman, as though issuing from several monstrous mouths at once.

The clawing, crushing rhythm is the most industrial influenced aspect of the record, recalling the grimmer, more threatening elements of Godflesh, but the guitar work is unquestionably the highlight. Huge, looping riff structures suck the listener into a sick, suppurating centre, like the relentless pull of a maelstrom in an ocean of bubbling pitch. Bleak, terrifying and relentlessly heavy, this is funereal doom if your burial plot is located in the Pit.

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  1. Nice to see this guy getting more attention, Stomach Earth is easily one of the stronger acts out of Massachusetts right now. Great album art too.

    1. Yeah, "industrial funeral doom" is a very good thing in the hands of Mr. McKenzie.