What truly qualifies as overkill? Five grams of arsenic? Ten gunshots? Perhaps 200 Stab Wounds sounds more appropriate. This Cleveland collective are out to slaughter unsuspecting death metal fans with a fury heavily rooted in death metal’s past, bringing to mind the best combinations of the sounds from the late 1980s to early 1990s with an undeniable underlying groove provided by the guitars and bass. Having already executed their Maggot Stomp debut with the killer-artwork-packing 3 track EP Piles of Festering Decomposition, their upcoming debut album Slave to the Scalpel shows the band going full bore as befits their first full-length.

To evoke some of those death metal inspirations, if you can think of the best combination of Effigy of the Forgotten’s guttural vocals and Symphonies of Sickness’ grimy attention to gory detail, then you get Slave to the Scalpel, a relatively short affair made for mass consumption. If you want your death metal quick, hard, and dirty, then you’ll want to give these maniacal Midwesterners a call. You certainly wouldn’t regret it, unless, as Ezra Cooks notes in the interview below, you're just possibly a hater.

Below, we're premiering “Itty Bitty Pieces” from Slave To The Scalpel. The track starts off a bit slowly, with vocalist Steve Buhl letting his growled and all-consuming vocal performance take over, before the rhythm section of Buhl and Lance Buckley throws some pinch harmonics in and amps up the speed. At one point, the song essentially pauses and audio growls and screams envelop the listener into what seems like it could be the mind of a serial killer, fresh after claiming their most recent victim. 200 Stab Wounds use uneasiness and the listener's inability to settle down to their advantage.

Listen to the track below and check out an interview with bassist Ezra Cook where we discuss the band’s name, the Cleveland scene, and touring during the pandemic below.

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Why 200 Stab Wounds?
It’s just a good name. No reason in particular really, Lance came up with that and we loved it.

What is it like being on Maggot Stomp?
It’s cool, Scott works hard and we have a good working relationship and we can both hear each other out and work at it if we both have opposite opinions on something.

What is a defining factor of the Cleveland scene? Any other bands to be aware of?
It’s very DIY and there’s a lot of great venues around Cleveland that allow heavy bands to play. And not to mention the scene is getting bigger and bigger in Cleveland especially the past couple years. Check out Mutilation Barbeque, Inoculation, Circus, Last Gasp, Mutilatred, Dissected, Embalmer, Nunslaughter, Limbsplitter, Slug and Cleansing Humanity.

Who is the biggest vocal influence on the band?
I don’t really have a specific influence on my vocals. I just kind of sound how I sound, I never set out to try and sound like anyone. But I can say 2 people that have given me great tips on the best vocal approach and keeping your voice in shape are Devin from Sanguisugabogg and Pat from Mutilatred.

For new fans, what would you say 200 Stab Wounds sounds like?
Heavy, groovy, and fast. If you like aggressive music I don’t see why you wouldn’t like it unless you’re a hater.

What's the story behind "Itty Bitty Pieces", is it inspired by anything specific?
No, I just wrote that at work one day. I guess it all just comes from creative imagination, not real-life situations. I wrote those lyrics before we were even a band.

If you could be transported back to any specific time period and place for death metal, when would that be?
I wouldn’t. The scene now is great and only getting better, so I don’t like to live in the past. Although all of us have great admiration and respect for the older bands, we’re happy with where we’re at and how things are now.

I see you guys have started touring again, how does that feel?
It feels great. Especially since we’re still a new band, we’re still earning our stripes. And people are actually showing up to shows and buying our merch. It’s insane. It feels great, we’re going to be doing a lot of touring.

What are the band's plans going forward?
Just keep writing great music and touring and focus on doing the most we can do as a band. And the usual extra curriculars in between.

Anything else you would like to add?
Slave To The Scalpel comes out November 12th [via Maggot Stomp], and we’re on tour right now. Come check us out!

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Upcoming US Tour Dates:

  • 10/22 — San Fernando, CA — The Midnight Hour
  • 10/23 — Santa Cruz, CA — The Vets Hall
  • 10/24 — San Diego, CA —Brick by Brick
  • 10/25 — Tucson, AZ — The Edge
  • 10/26 — Albuquerque, NM — The Launchpad
  • 10/27 — Tulsa, OK — Mass Movement
  • 10/28 — Columbia, MO — PDM
  • 10/29 — Chicago, IL — Reggie's
  • 10/30 — Buffalo, NY — Soup of Dissent
  • 11/1 — Washington, D.C. — Atlas Brewery
  • 11/2 — Ardmore, PA — The Nail
  • 11/3 — Brooklyn, NY — Saint Vitus
  • 11/4 — Newark, NJ — QXTS
  • 11/5 — Worcester, MA — Ralphs Diner

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