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Brutal death metal has grown since the early ‘90s as a style of extreme death metal music propagated largely by Suffocation, Internal Bleeding, Cannibal Corpse and Broken Hope into a sub-genre that can now be easily identifiable just by its sound, if not the album cover. Unfortunately, few give the sub-genre the credit it's due. The genre has exploded in the last decade and it seemed prudent to highlight some of the best albums in the genre from the previous year which were not featured in the Invisible Oranges year-end festivities. While the easy-to-digest mid-paced or slamming type of brutal death metal bands are most popular, some push the death metal sound like the sub-genre’s aforementioned progenitors to the next level. Here are some of the lesser known remarkable bands playing in the style of late.

—Kunal Choksi

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Putridity - Ignominious Atonement
These heavyweights from Italy take the classic Disgorge template, stuff it with endless variations and present it as a giant coagulated mass of brutal death metal that needs to be mentally chewed down, bit by bit, to allow for digestion. But therein lies the fun, the challenge - most albums of this ilk are redundant, rife with oversimplistic 'slam' parts and chug their way to oblivion; Putridity leave no stone unturned in presenting a rock solid, near impermeable slab of brutal death metal music that's intricate, devastatingly heavy and delivered with intimidating speed and aggression. The band have only gone from strength to strength since their remarkable Dying Fetus-meets-Putrid Pile debut and are forging a genre-pushing, extreme sound, much like Defeated Sanity, only more guttural and vile.

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Omninoid - Womb of Infirmity
Although their sound is similar Australians Omninoid are comparatively a lot more visceral, pulsating with bulbous energy and sound more rhythmic than Putridity. The band are a lot more underrated, despite having released an album through Ghastly Music (Japan) in the same year. This sub-genre has a lot of hidden talent and offers as much as challenge as the technical bands, only coupled with inexorable brutality. They sound like Disentomb infected with Necrophagist, the best of both worlds, with one offering well-composed pulsating aggression, the other well-honed musicianship and unceasing momentum. Fans of Suffocation or even Defeated Sanity for that matter will find much to revel in this.

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Analepsy - Dehumanization by Supremacy
Delving into the more slam-y, slicker area of the sub-genre, Analepsy stand out from the pack with their incredibly honed, almost aerodynamic-sounding music. Analepsy from Portugal remain intense in their delivery, punctuating it with well-timed breakdowns and animated vocals. This vocal style was made popular in the US by bands like Retch and more significantly in Europe by the Czech bands like Pigsty, Negligent Collateral Collapse and Mincing Fury and Guttural Clamour of Queer Decay, among others. It was picked up by more prominent brutal bands like Prostitute Disfigurement, who've unfortunately since resorted to standard low gutturals comparable to Chris Barnes. All the more reason to like Analepsy, because they're doing this with supreme confidence and panache, not yet worrying about expectations or criticisms. The sound fits them. They've taken the chugging style of Devourment and compounded it with the punchy Putrid Pile delivery, lastly superimposing the sound with a sheen of newfound slickness. Dehumanization by Supremacy positions the band with alongside others in the style like Kraanium, Cephalotripsy and Epicardiectomy, except that Analepsy are faster and meaner.

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Maggot Colony - Spewing the Violated Souls
Taiwan's Maggot Colony have been worshipping at the altar of Disgorge and have been blessed with their finer traits and more. They've managed to elaborate upon the Disgorge sound without diluting the essence or texture. The band create long, winding songs with many intricate variations while keeping the momentum undiminished. This is probably the best Disgorge-worship band since Pathology. The breakdowns are never infertile, as this band follows the Suffocation method of weaving excellent riff and drum patterns in a near cyclical manner, while creating buildups for a mini-apocalypse. Admittedly while not as forward-thinking as unheralded Rising Nemesis Records label mate Maximize Bestiality, or Russian sci-fi slam group 7.H Target, or the better known Wormed, these guys are perfecting the stream of brutal death metal, joining country mates Gorepot and Coprocephalic, whom they share members with, in creating a new scene within Asia that's world class.

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Grunt - Codex Bizarre
Grunt from UK band play an amalgam of brutal death metal and grind, with enough diverse elements to be a standout in the style. Looking beyond the phenomenal contribution of Sigh keyboardist Mirai Kawashima on this album, the music is strangely atmospheric and kinky in its raucous manner. All the members are seen covered in latex and apparently their shows have strippers ostensibly propagating bondage practices. Even stripping Grunt of all their outward appearances, the music has enough substance and appeal to still hold your attention. Isacaarum from Czech Republic were probably the first in this narrow genre to explore such themes but in comparison Grunt are devoid of overt black metal influences and instead follow the path of the German pornogrind/death metal legends Gut, Dead and Mucupurulent, even borrowing the compulsive riffing appeal of Pungent Stench. Aesthetically, they remind me of the more modern Czech bands Eardelete (for their robotic movements) and the Japanese-themed Jig-Ai, not to mention Ahumado Granujo, who remarkably experimented with electronic music on their groundbreaking album Splatter-Tekk. It holds the same bawdy appeal of Libido Airbag too, but what sets Grunt apart is the fact that they've carefully taken all their influences into consideration and are portraying their own brand of extreme metal. Codex Bizarre is an unpredictable but extremely delectable ride, transgressing taboo fetishes, conventions and even genres. If this doesn't trigger your interest in this oft-dismissed sub-genre, nothing will.

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