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Album Review: Space Parasites – Raw and Violent

I almost didn’t review this simply because I couldn’t finish it.  I know that’s a shitty opening line, but I might as well get it out of the way as soon as possible.  I tell it to ya straight, but part of the reason I sat out of the promo game for nearly a decade is because I hated the unspoken implication that you’re supposed to… ya know, promote.  Critical analysis as a hobby is good fun, but I’m not going to do unpaid PR work for a band that’s too shitty to get any genuine word of mouth buzz.  That’s why I only got back into it after I promised to just be bare-knuckle with everything and tell you that it sucks if it sucks.

So let me tell you now, Space Parasites fucking sucks.

There’s an obvious reason for this, but let’s focus on the less obvious moments first.  The music itself is passable.  It’s just uncreative 80s thrash with little else thrown in beyond tiny gimmicks like a few seconds of sci-fi laser guns on “I Wanna Be a Spacewolf” or the walkie-talkie skit that kicks off “Children of the Witch,” but those things mean nothing.  I could shamelessly regurgitate the press kit like so many online critics do and say things like “the album title is very fitting!” or use the same line about the band having two men and two women in the lineup that several sites regurgitate verbatim, or reference the several lyrical topics like mutated lice from space, or try to upsell by association by naming much better bands like Judas Priest, Kreator, and Testament when describing it.  But I’m not gonna do any of that shit, despite the nudging from their PR team because what this sounds like instead is hot fucking trash.  In a complete vacuum, this would be fine musically.  There aren’t any obvious mistakes or missed cues from the instrumentalists, but giving a band points for merely staying in time is Weenie Hut Jr. level critique.  The production is raw but fitting for this dirty style of tradthrash, but again, kudos for staying awake during the first three minutes of a Reaper tutorial, I guess.  The riffs and percussion don’t do anything wrong, but I’m not gonna pat anybody on the back for simply rehashing old Metallica riffs three decades after that became played out.  Raw and Violent does not have the intensity, atmosphere, creativity, spirit, or any other such intangible that would make this anything other than workmanlike assembly-line thrash.  Fourteen fucking tracks of this low-effort crap is totally absurd as well.  The songs are all usually pretty lean, and the whole experience turns out to be “only” 51 minutes, but it feels like 501. Since not one of those minutes contains a riff I hadn’t already heard from every no-name D-tier forgotten thrash band from 1987, it’s just a complete slog of mediocrity.

But the real reason this is unlistenable shit is the vocals, and that’s the long and short of it.  I hate to rail against a bad vocalist again because I just did that in my Terrifant review, but holy shit, those sound so much better by comparison.  Nadine here sounds like Cartman.  That’s it; it’s just Eric Fuckin’ Cartman fronting a metal band.  There you go, my job is done.  Her voice is a monotone quack-whine that I can only describe as a “snick,” which isn’t a real word but somehow sounds totally fitting.  It could almost be some sort of brilliantly esoteric outsider art if it wasn’t so seemingly unaware of how god damned awful it is.  Her voice is shoved to the forefront of the sound profile and utterly dominates the listening experience.  She never shuts the hell up, and her audial-plantar-wart of a voice never leaves your head even after the album finally mercifully finishes.  This bad Cartman impression is the only notable thing about Space Parasites, and it’s for all the wrong reasons.  Just listen to the track up there to get a real taste, words don’t do it justice.  I don’t get it; she doesn’t even have the excuse of playing another instrument and simply not being a skilled multitasker or something.  She only does vocals, and she does them amazingly poorly.  Is she somebody’s sister?  Why is she here?  Surely there is somebody in Germany with a better voice than this. Fuckin’ put me in, coach, I’m ready!

I don’t want to do this anymore.  I can’t wait to put this mistake behind me.  This isn’t even entertainingly bad like some infamously “so bad it’s good” movie like The Room or Plan 9 from Outer Space.  It’s just grating and irritating and unlistenable.  Putting down young bands trying to reach their dreams is something I don’t like doing, but please, don’t release anything else.  I’ll pay you real money to break up.

 

Raw and Violent was released on October 19th, 2019, via Zoundr Records and can be purchased on their Bandcamp page but holy shit, why would you want to?

Editor Grade

NO

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