Blood Farmers – Permanent Brain Damage   Leave a comment

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Here at Doommantia dot com, i get emails from people each week asking when i am going to review a certain album. “Permanent Brain Damage” from Blood Farmers has been requested more than any other Doom album i can think of. While Doommantia keeps its focus on albums mainly from the last year, there is some albums that just have to be reviewed due to their brilliance or historical importance. This Blood Farmers monster is a album that deserves its review for both of those reasons. Also on a personal note, this album would be in my top 10 most played albums list of the last 10 years so despite having a mountain of current releases to write about, this review just has to be done, pure and simple. Born from Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram and cheesy but extremely gory horror films, Blood Farmers started in 1989. Founded by Guitarist Dave Depraved and vocalist Eli Brown, they enlisted the likes of Eric Jakob [drums] and Dr Chibes (bassist) in 1990 to complete their line-up and a year later recorded their first demo. Their infectious but extremely heavy and depraved sound was a automatic hit in the underground scene but when the band originally started playing shows with various Grunge bands including Hole, the reception they got was one of total confusion.

Its wasn’t till around 93 when opening for bands such as Saint Vitus that they started to get the attention they deserved. This album though was originally the 1991 demo but you would never know it judging from the incredible sound they got on this beast. It came out first on cassette but in 2004 it was reissued on CD with a bonus track (“Awakening of the Beast”) by Leaf Hound Records. “Behind The Brown Door” is the animal that starts the album with raw and atonal notes before you are blown into tomorrow with iconic, classic riffing that only a few have ever mastered. Throbbing, muddy bass lines mangle with down-trodden sickening, churning guitar work and the Psychedelic edge that is injected within the solo work is mind-boggling at times. The 14 minute orgy of intensity that “Behind The Brown Door” presents to the ear-drums is note by note satisfying, there is not a second wasted, nor is there one second where you wish the track would end.

If the first musical assault wasn’t enough, the second called “Bullet In My Head” is a timeless mind-fuck of a song. A lot shorter than the opening track but main the riff kills for its 5 minutes, riffs as good as these are rare. One part Sabbath with a healthy, some would say lethal dose of Obsessed meets Vitus kind of riffing drives the song to majestic heights of blood-dripping Doom Metal and the solo is simply magical with wailing, screaming notes played with a level of passion that only the likes of Sabbath and maybe a couple of others have ever come close to before.”Veil Of Blood (Scream Bloody Murder)” begins with a classic piece of a horror movie sound-bite although i have never figured out to where it originally came. Vocalist Eli Brown indeed does scream bloody murder in  this track and he makes you believe it, Depraved’s guitar weaves and twists while more morbid, churning bass-lines that drive the song for its entire duration. What is also impressive is Blood Farmers were one of the gifted few that had their musical roots entrenched in the early 70’s but while most with those influences went for the basic authentic sound, Blood Farmers went and cranked it up to number 11. This is heavy as hell, dark, angry and menacing but still retains the classic early 70’s riff work and bluesy vocal approach.

“St. Chibes” is another masterpiece although a little short for my tastes, they could have extended this one out for another 10 minutes as there is so much scope with material like this. “St. Chibes” has a Cathedral type of groove that never lets up but then you are thrown into the 14 minute “The Deathmaster” which is made up of 5 parts, each twisted and deranged enough to melt your brain. The only problem here is the plodding doom atmosphere is a little over-done by the end of this track. Not bad, still a fine piece of Doom wizardry but too long and lacking the musical twists and turns the other tracks have. The bonus track that is included on this version of the recording is “Awakening The Beast”. This is an instrumental and is a killer way to end the album, it brings back memories to me of standing around in sleazy bars and clubs watching the Doom/Stoner scene of the 90’s expand and grow. Being high and extremely drunk and hearing bands like this for the first time was a life changing experience and i still haven’t recovered.

Musically everything on this album was and still is timeless from the bluesy, emotive vocals to  Depraved’s obsession with trills that verges on the mind-boggling at times. Add to that, great song-writing that manages to blend grooves with a kind of sickening but infectious atmosphere that keeps the CD on that “must play” list for me and many others. While “Deathmaster” fails slightly, the bulk of this album is flawless and essential for any Doom Metal collector. It deserves to be worshiped and admired for generations to come. If any band deserves to come back again, its Blood Farmers. If you have never experienced their magic, now is the time….Buy It !! 9.5/10

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Blood Farmers at MySpace
Blood Farmers – Permanent Brain Damage (CD) (Leaf Hound)

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Posted July 12, 2010 by doommantia in Blood Farmers

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