I’m glad to see that my old friend Brad Buldak, former main-man of Chicago’s legendary Morgue, has at long last returned to the lethal business of creating Death Metal. When Brad handed me this demo CDR at a recent Cianide show, I wanted to listen to it immediately, or at least on the two-and-a-half hour drive home. Seconds into the first track, my initial thought was that I should have waited, attributing this demo’s muddy, muffled recording to temporary hearing loss and sleep deprivation. I hate to have to report that the problem wasn’t my ears. It just sounds… bad. My old Yamaha MT120 4-track cassette recorder can honestly deliver better results than what’s on display here. I don’t know how this demo was recorded (live to jambox?), but sonically it’s a total throwback to the early ’90s, in that it sounds like a copy of a copy of copy of an original Maxell UR 90 master tape. But lack of audio quality can generally be fixed by throwing money at the problem, and the amount of cash necessary becomes less and less as technology improves, so I’m hopeful for next time. The real issue is song quality, and Absconder has no problem making these tracks heavy and intense, occasionally reminding me of Grave, but they don’t really stick with you after the carnage ends. A better recording is essential to allowing the detail and nuance that I’m sure Brad has written into these songs to actually be heard, which would go a long way to making them more memorable.
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