“From Crotch to Crown”

by Thor

The Netherlands’ brutal death metal act Prostitute Disfigurement is back with a new album entitled “From Crotch to Crown” available in the U.S. through Willowtip Records.

“From Crotch to Crown” is the first album by the band after a tumultuous six year period that included a break up and subsequent reformation and while some things have remained the same, others have changed and/or been refined.  Having been aware of Prostitute Disfigurement from early on, I’ve always liked if not loved the band.  I appreciated the gory brutality, the macabre concepts and the heavy, guttural approach to their music.  However, their output has always been plagued by the typical lo-fi production that affects countless other underground bands.  And while some people try to sell you that as an asset—the underground’s equivalent to “keeping it real”—I’m not buying it.  I want my music to sound good regardless of its genre.

And that’s the area in which “From Crotch to Crown” shows marked improvement.  While the concepts and to a lesser degree the general approach remains the same, the album sounds fantastic.  The performances are tight and the music has a bit more of a classic death metal vibe than their much rawer earlier output, including *gasp* subtle touches of dark melody.  The bottom end is punchy while the intricate guitar work—including a fair number of shredding technical solos—comes through with impressive clarity.  Vocalist Niels Adams departs with the indecipherable garbage-disposal throat eruptions from the early days and instead employs a guttural technique that’s also articulate.  It’s accented with death metal’s version of a two-part vocal harmony—high screams over the top of the guttural vocal line, predictably but effectively.  The drums are mostly comprised of blast-beats that are both powerful and precise and these are broken up with well-timed groove passages that allow the music to be as heavy as music can possibly get.
The highlights of “From Crotch to Crown” include the opener, “Only Taste for Decay” which rips out of the gate with pummeling speed, the omnipotent heaviness of “Dismember the Transgender”, and my favorite, “Set Forth to Annihilate”.
Honestly, I prefer the more primitive and, in my opinion, heavier approach to the music that was prominent on Prostitute Disfigurement’s early albums, but I’ll happily accept the improvements in the overall quality of the product offered on “From Crotch to Crown”.  This album fits in well alongside albums from bands like Exhumed, Severe Torture, Insidious Decrepancy, and early Deeds of Flesh.