Retrospective on Lymphatic Phlegm: Goregrind as art


Lymphatic Phlegm‘s debut is one of the more unique albums to have come out of this fetid style, posing a study in contrasts between the pummeling, terrorizing rhythms of traditional goregrind, and a  sense of structure and melody borrowed directly from the heavy metal playbook. As outre as that may sound of itself, what makes this recording even creepier is the band’s one dimensional approach to writing these melodies which, contradictorily enough, far from shackling the music lends it an idiot savant sort of charm and genius. Like an even more macabre Edward Scissorhands, breathed into confused sentience by a maker who passed on before perfecting his creation, Lymphatic Phlegm lumber about with a crude but completely sincere expression of the terrors of the moonless graveyard.

Heavily riff-driven like conventional metal, Pathogenesis Infest Phlegmsepsia is written with a basic musical idea in mind, variations on which rarely stray far from their home theme. Groups of 5-6 notes  are strung together with identical phrasing throughout the record, repeating themselves against simplistically thudding but immaculately programmed drums. Far from dissolving into a blur of white noise, these are mixed in with great attention to placement and atmosphere, utilizing a surprisingly diverse arsenal of fills and pauses to highlight the queerly melodramatic nature of the riffs, but equally importantly providing the inhuman, bloodlusting appeal peculiar to goregrind. Lymphatic Phlegm constantly play with the listener’s expectations, drawing him into a world of opposites that threatens to simultaneously embrace and subsume. Intelligent juxtaposition makes this album a classic of the genre and also, in many ways, an ideal gateway point for the interested newcomer to goregrind.

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