REVIEW: Sanguisugabogg – Homicidal Ecstasy [2023]

Artist: Sanguisugabogg
Album: Homicidal Ecstasy

Everyone has certain memories about the first times they heard certain bands—where they were, what they were doing, what their first and most visceral reactions were. The first time I heard Sanguisugabogg, I can’t recall where I was or what I was doing, but I can tell you that I thought to myself “damn, this shit is gross.” After all, I was first introduced to them as the “band that has something on their merch about eating their own semen,” and, well, after listening through Tortured Whole, I got it. But I also loved it. In the time since the world was smacked upside the head with that thirty-minute slab of twisted, gore-laden death metal, Sanguisugabogg has graced us with another carnal offering—but one that finds itself in a much more refined way. Homicidal Ecstasy is the sound of a band that has matured in the ways that matter while retaining all the energy, aggression and filth that makes them the entity we’ve come to know and love. Wildly unrestrained, Homicidal Ecstasy borrows heavily from slamming death metal and hardcore to provide an unrelenting experience busting wide open with breakdowns, prolapse-inducing riffs, skin-rending blast beats and a varied vocal approach bound to make the listener’s head spin—and yeah, it’s still pretty Goddamn gross.
Homicidal Ecstasy is a monster—a true mammoth of metallic diversity, and also a monster when it comes to unyielding aggression. Sanguisugabogg take the grotesque and barbaric sound they’ve become known for in the contemporary death metal circuit and build on it, stepping up their songwriting in addition to their individual musicianship. “Black Market Vasectomy,” alongside “A Lesson in Savagery” and “Testicular Rot” are fantastic examples of this, boasting mach-speed drums that serve as a canvas for sludgy, thick bass layered beneath a grisly, meaty guitar that shreds, chugs and barbarically slams its way into the listener’s brain like a thirty pound sledge. The result is an experience that makes the record’s singles seem like tame cuts, with most songs on Homicidal Ecstasy serving some fashion of totally unpredictable instrumental twist, taking the listener on a tour of the songwriters’ tormented minds. “Hungry for Your Insides,” alongside the aforementioned “A Lesson in Savagery” are two personal favorites, with the former ending with a pulsing, pummeling cavalcade of slam-tinted aggression and the latter featuring segments that seem almost symphonic. Homicidal Ecstasy simply crushes in its instrumental offerings—both in the punishingly heavy sense and in the sense that it absolutely crushes the impressive bar set from its predecessor.
If the grisly instrumentation, spine-snapping slams and razor-sharp riffs aren’t enough to sell you (they should be), Sanguisugabogg’s vocal element provides even more depth to their devastating, dismembering style of death metal. Throughout Homicidal Ecstasy, shrill screams and prolapse-inducing low bellows dominate, giving each song a vector through which manic, malevolent lyrics are delivered. Compared to the changes in songwriting, the band’s vocals feel like an anchor—a continuity of the finest elements of Tortured Whole brought into the year 2023, with a renewed focus on variety and unstoppable energy. One of the record’s singles, “Face Ripped Off” is an outstanding example of the group’s vocal intensity—and others, like “Narcissistic Incisions” sees how bizarrely catchy Sanguisugabogg can be. “Necrosexual Deviant” alongside “Hungry for Your Insides” see a visceral, guttural low end dominating, and “Black Market Vasectomy” is an astounding example of variety in the band’s vocal efforts, giving the listener a comprehensive spectrum of primal vocal fury.
Homicidal Ecstasy is Sanguisugabogg leveled up. Leveled WAY up. Revitalized with outstanding production and honed to perfusion with a more creative yet somehow more refined approach to creating some of the least refined death metal you’ll have heard this year—and probably in a few years prior as well. Even someone like me—a skeptic and relatively new initiate to death metal enthuse as a whole—has practically nothing to complain about on Homicidal Ecstasy—a release that will have the listener immersed in filth and loving every second of it.

For Fans Of: Suffocation, Undeath, Visceral Explosion
By: Connor Welsh