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Ptoma – Life (digital release review)

There are many different things you can do on a lazy Sunday, and if you opt for the music, many different genres to choose from. But being a little bit stubborn “tradicionalist”, I am kinda lost in many of those new genres and I still haven’t figured out that thing called Spotify. So, what a poor soul like me should do?

Go fucking traditional! Goregrind time!

And for this matter I’ve chosen Greek splatter butchers Ptoma, and it’s nice to find out that their material was also released by Bobby M of Regurgitated Stoma Stew Productions we’ve interviewed not too long ago.

The cover of the album "life" by Ptoma.

Their latest material is called simply “Life” and what a great intro! It’s a passage from the X-Files (the conversation between the agent Mulder and, I believe, the Smoking Man) introducing us to slow, almost melancholic guitar tune.

And before you know it, it’s over and what’s coming? Another intro! But as I love intros, I am happy like a pig in the shit! Now I am enjoying those spacey tunes morphing into the nice goregrind, and happy to report, a quite distinctive vokills. “Mr Grey (Byrus)” is the song and I am pleasantly surprised by another band enojying guitar solos in their work. I think we can agree with goregrind it’s not really a rule. Also, the songwriting is quite different from a traditional goregrind, which is a big fucking plus.

“Shape-Shifting Killer” starts with this omnious guitar play and you can sense some shit is going down. And again, guys don’t try to outrace anyone with their speed play, they are happy with what they offer and so am I. By the way, we’re still in a melodic vein of goregrind, and I guess Greeks just can’t deny their DNA, you know, those melodies are ingrained deeply within them and it shows in the guitar work, and I like it more and more.

“Horrid Formless Sculpture” sounds like the stone idol from Lovecraft’s “Dagon”, and I will definitely ask guys about it. For now, you have to know this – it’s weird, but in a good way. Some riffs remind me of old school death metal bands from 1990s and it’s easy to identify with the band and their material. Actually, it goes two way – on one hand, some songwriting is quite predictable, because of that, but on the other hand, it’s really easily digested. Indeed, one needs just that single listening experience to immediately like the band.

Ptoma, the Greek goregrind band.
Ptoma

And we’re not even in the middle of the album! “Macroverse (Consumption” brings validity to the old saying “same but different”. Yes, I can say it’s the same stuff, but luckily Ptoma guys know that too, so they are wise enough to incorporate different approaches in their music. That guitar riff in this song almost reminded me of a few one-man black metal projects of the bygone era. I mean, by its structure, what the hell do you want with black metal stuff in extraterrestrial goregrind – right? So much to enjoy in this 3rd longest song on the album.

And talking about song lengths, next one, interestingly titled “Super Soldier (Human Replacement)” is the longest one, fucking 5:34!!! Now, it’s not easy to write longer pieces, so I was intrigued, because so far, I am impressed by what those surgeons of alien lifeforms brought to the theater table.

What to say not to sound repeatitive. It’s exactly what you’ve been enjoying so far (otherwise you wouldn’t make it that far, I believe). However, I think the song of this length is little too much to bite, and Ptoma rules the most within their usual 3 minutes of song length. That’s not to say it’s a bad song, just my observation.

“Black Cancer (Purity)” follows with this nice, almost psychedelic, riff and weird drums rhythm and I dig it a lot. Tapping on the table and air-bass druming along is a good sign of it.

The 2nd longest track bears the title of the album, “Life”. And I am not convinced it’s a goregrind stuff. Really, more like an old school death metal above mentioned… with a cousin of Antti Boman (Demilich) on vokills. Solid guitarwork (I know I am repeating myself, but I think it’s important to emphasize it), good songwriting and good production. Nah, I can’t complain.

And while “Shape-Shifting Killer” is a great song, the top track on this album goes to “The Colonists”. Man, this shit fucking kills! No, I’m wrong..it shreds, rips, puts together and kills again!! Definitely one of the best songs I’ve heard recently. Great riff – that’s the magic you can do with a simple stuff done right.

With the title of “Necromorph” I am always picturing some space horror video game (Dead Space and similar), but there’s no ambience here, this is going straight for the throat. The songwriting might be a little repeatitive now, that’s a thing which needs to be admitted, but it doesn’t change my opinion about the album as a whole.

Another photo of Ptoma
Ptoma

Number 11, please! It’s a cover of Blasted Pancreas’ song “Nephroblastoma” and because I don’t know the original, it’s hard for me to compare, but stuff I hear here – me like! 🙂 Although I wish the drum sound would be a little clearer, but one can’t get everything. Also commendable is the song’s length, I think it works the best. Simply put, who needs 5+ minutes long goregrind songs? Just saying, don’t beat me because I’ve said that!

And the last song in this green slimy stuff is “The Borrower”, and its 4:10 will provide you with enough unpleasant (just joking) aftertaste not to forget this album anytime soon. As I’ve written above, the songwriting can be something predictable, but I am enjoying it.

Summa summarum, that’s one unexpectedly enjoyable album. I mean, unexpectedly, because I’ve expected a classic goregrind stuff, but got quite a different one, but immensely catchy.

And thanks a lot, with my OCD, I need to get previous material as well!!! Grrrrrr 🙂 🙂 Just kidding. But you do well to get the album for yourself.

Available through: https://inhumanhomicide.bandcamp.com/album/life
Also in physical copy: http://inhumanhomicide.free.fr/

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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