Review: Mechanical Separation – As You Can See


After years of gigging around Western Canada (these guys started way back in 2003!) Mechanical Separation have finally dropped their debut full length: As You Can See. If grindcore with a dose of tech death (think Cepahlic Carnage minus the stoner shit) caked with a thick, hardened coating of smelly crust tickles your fancy, then plug this into your earholes:

Listening now? Good.

Matt asked me to drop a review for this beast, so I figured it was time for this clown to dust off his dirty old critic hat and get to some writing. How many metaphors for meat shakes can I fit into this review? Well, if you blended up the wacked out aspects and brutality of Cephalic Carnage, the abrasiveness of Pig Destroyer, a pinch of sludge and a brutal death metal breakdown or two, marinaded that bitch with the stenchiest of crust, then threw it in a blender, you’d have a thick, bloody, concoction, hot and ready to inject into your head holes with a farm veterinary syringe! That, in a nutshell, is Mechanical Separation!

Opener “Outcast” wastes no time in pummelling the listener. But this is a beating you want! (obscure GBN reference). We begin with a galloping riff reminiscent of Seasons-era Slayer (tasty licks laid down by Svitzer) which then gets backed up with a shot of thick, juicy distorted bass laid down by Mr Dantouze (the guy who’s in every band in Saskatoon), and an abused kit of drums (kit smashing courtesy of Tizdale, named for the top tourist destination in Saskatchewan, and land of rape and honey). All is delivered at the perfect pace to match punching someone’s face in. Finally we top things off like a booze-soaked maraschino cherry on a rotten ice cream sundae with vocalist Simon’s angry howls. Quickly, the band breaks it down, then takes a weird jazzy/mathy turn into weirdness, and then it’s over. Get in, fuck you up, get out. For this I recommend fist banging mania. Bang the fist that does not bang.

Next up we have the title track, “As You Can See”. The opening sample sets the correct “feel good” mood explaining how we’re all just the government’s cattle, only here to deliver profits unto the rich, then blasts into an appropriately crusty d-beat assault! Of course, the song doesn’t rest on its laurels and ends up morphing into a mean death metal section with some tasty riffage courtesy of Svitzer before we return to the d-beating of a dead horse. This song spells spilled beers and black eyes in the pit. Total rager. Pit stench crust punk mosh move optional for those who are rocking the unwashed lifestyle.

Guttural vocals and blast beating awaits you on “Coral Feet”. Ough! Head banging is not an option here, it is a necessity.

Then we change things up with an almost Pig Destroyer-esque song in the form of “Risk of Change”. Majorly pissed with feedback ridden guitar and bursts of fierce blasts are here to peel the skin from thy face. For this one I recommend bending at the waist with your bang style, slamming your face into the monitors on each pained chord.

“Abandon All Hope” slows things down briefly, with a foreboding opening, but quickly morphs into blasting grindcore, then back again to the grimness, this time with a creepy female spoken word passage about ghastly slaughter beneath the waves of guitar feedback and bass rumble. The song finishes off with seemingly all of the members howling over a heavy as fuck riff that brings to mind Cattle Decapitation. Howl at the fucking moon with this one until you start sprouting extra body hair!

“Friendly Red” kicks things back up into d-beat territory, then morphs into a back and forth play between a muted guitar chord and Matt’s chunky bass, which is soon joined by fierce bouts of blasting and Simon’s gutturally shouted assault. Immediate circle pitting is recommended, change direction and slam into everyone else head first each time the track changes style (non-stop windmilling while doing so until your arms come out of their sockets is optional).

“Six Days” sludgy opening soon gives way to a fierce grind assault with those nice phlegmy growls Simon has been dropping since his days in Noodled. Soon we’re in a brutal death metal section with howls and gutturals trading places and cabinet rumbling quick break downs, finally the track goes into weird territory with odd riff play highlighted by the tight blasts of Tizdale, keepin’ it GRRRRIIIIIND as always.

Album closer “Fed to the Wolves” was the first track I’d heard for this release, and it’s kinda fitting it ends the album.  The song actually reminds be a lot of 2-woman, now defunct (sadly), sludge outfit Mares of Thrace, but as always, Mechanical Separation has to fuck with ya and switch things up and we’re soon in a blasting section, then a brutal death section with Lenzig style guttural lows and monster bass, until it’s all over.

Not an ounce of fucking fat on this thing people. All killer no filler, as they say. It might seem like this long of a wait for 17 minutes of music on the debut is a bit like thinking about goin’ to the bone zone all day only to premature ejac when you get down to it, but this is right around the perfect length for a grindcore album. Get in on this!!

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