God Among Insects – World Wide Death Review

God Among Insects – World Wide Death
Threeman, 2004

1. Legions of Darkness
2. A Gush of Blood
3. Headless Nun Whore
4. Wretched Hatching
5. Chainsawed Christians
6. Purified In Carnage
7. Uprising of the Rotten
8. Severe Facial Reconstruction
9. Uhr-Nazuur

Sporting cover art banned in Germany, over-the-top song titles and lyrics, and a death metal spirit that reaches back to the early ’90s, God Among Insects has arrived to — and I quote — “kill you all.” Fronted by Dark Funeral’s resident growler Emperor Magus Caligula, rhythm section represented by Tomas Eloffson (Sanctification) on bass and Tobias Gustafsson (Vomitory) on drums, as well as The Project Hate guitarist Lord K Philipson, the spirit of the oldschool shocking brutality is well represented.

There is positively no mistaking this disc as categorically death metal. While there are certainly a lot of flavors of that particular dish circulating, GAI takes their sound from an obvious Obituary influence mixed with the individual styles that each band member has been known to play. Notable are Caligula’s vocals, which are less his Dark Funeral shrieks and instead steal back to his days in Hypocrisy — incredibly low, rumbling growls from the pits of hell. Combining that rumble with downtuning nearly an octave, one would expect plodding doom-metal. Not so, as the tempo stays true to everything these band members clearly adored about the death scene’s younger days.

Lyrics? Oh, they’re in there somewhere. Much like the tradition, if you can make them all out, you’re not listening to a good growler. Still, what is discernible could take the cheese factor up to 11 when it comes to blatant blasphemy. One look at the song titles will tell you that’s the band’s intent. Everything from the front to the back of the disc was custom tailored to make grandmothers cry. It’s all in good fun, as we all know in 2004 that all of these evil metal guys aren’t sacrificing goats in their backyards. It’s a vibe, it’s a sound, it’s an image. Where shock value seems to have softened considerably over the last decade, it seems God Among Insects are hell-bent to resurrect this ideal.

Regardless of all of the comparisons to death metal’s golden ages, and regardless of somewhat dated-sounding production, World Wide Death occasionally pushes forward rather than being a mere tribute to days gone by. The stellar disc closer, “Uhr-Nazuur” stands out from the rest. “Headless Nun Whore” and elements of various other songs pick up trademarks of groove and melody that weren’t as celebrated years ago. It’s a limited amount of innovation, however, as the majority of the 35 minutes of carnage within tend to blend together into one mass of similar sound. That in itself is one of the trappings of death metal, one that GAI didn’t seem too concerned with shaking.

Nevertheless, the majority of the album really does sound simply like four guys who love their roots and are looking to recapture the moments they miss the most. For listeners who prefer the newer scene, all of this may come off as sounding ridiculously dated. And for those listeners who shun anything post 1995, these tunes may come off as near-parody.

Perhaps the best part of the entire existence of this album is not just the varied band members who made it happen, but the creation of something that isn’t a carbon copy of anything else out there. Yes, the disc sounds oldschool, but it doesn’t sound like any particular oldschool band. It’s as if a slot in history missed where God Among Insects should have fit in. They’re not ripping off anyone; they have merely taken elements and made them unique. There’s just no writing off the album due to an aged ideal — the crazed downtuning and introduction of creative musicianship makes it all worthwhile.

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