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Review: Vulvodynia – Psychosadistic Design

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So we have another Vulvodynia release under the title Psychosadistic Design and indeed it is. In case you somehow don’t know Vulvodynia, they are a slamming deathcore (you can argue on the sub-genre, I’m trying to be general) band from South Africa. They have 3 full-lengths, including Psychosadistic Design. If you have listened to any of their other songs before, you know what you’re getting into and what to expect. Listen/pick up Psychosadistic Design on Spotify, (this too) Bandcamp, their Bigcartel, and iTunes!

As I just said, if you have heard Vulvodynia before then you know exactly what to expect. Vulvodynia has a pretty good reputation and for good reason. From a critical perspective, they are a tight band with good production. You can hear the bass often and can hear actual sludge in the vocals most of the time. In a lot of music of this style, you get the really low gutturals and tunnel vocals, blast beats, intense chugging at the right moments, and the occasional bass bridge or movie clip. Well that doesn’t change for Psychosadistic Design. So far I have made the album sound really predictable and not entertaining, but that’s only partially true. I’m not the biggest fan of slam/similar styles because I feel like it’s a limited genre, but Vulvodynia does bring some beef to the table.

I’ll get the obvious out of the way: the slams are sick. With the low and slightly distorted bass (or maybe it’s distorted because it’s tuned so low?) behind fast drums, it doesn’t get much better than that. There are really slick transitions between verses and slams and such, like on “King Emesis” (which fetaures Alex Terrible of Slaughter to Prevail). You could use almost any song on Psychosadistic Design, but I chose that because of the transition between the sick guttural to the high vocals. It was unexpected the first time, but after that I grew to anticipate it each time.

When you have such heavy riffs and drumming coming at you at the rate that they do, they low gutturals and pig squeals sound extra dirty. That’s when you can hear the actual sludge in the vocals like on “Wall of Corpses.” It’s almost as if each band member went into the sewer to waddle around in the mess, but in a good way. There may be a lot of dirty music out there with just as much grit, but Vulvodynia has a certain sound to them that’s just a tiny bit more unique. They know how to write simple songs (structurally) and more chaotic ones. “Triple O.G. Slamdown” kinda goes all over the place and changes pace a few times. I’m not sure how I feel about the song or if it’s even meant to be taken seriously. Either way, I don’t dislike it and it tries to bring back 2000s core so that’s cool. “Umthkathi” has a structure more similar to “Triple O.G. Slamdown,” but has more to it. There are more vocal styles utilized in “Umthkathi” to be more slammy.

Do I really have to say that I liked this album? We all expected this to be good and Vulvodynia delivered again. I don’t think it’s 10/10 material, but it is a well done album with great production.

Rate: 9/10

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