Headhunter D.C. - God's Spreading Cancer (Ibex Moon)

It's really hard to properly enjoy this sort of death metal. It's not nearly melodic or riff-centric enough to be memorable or have any sort of staying power. But, at the same time, it's nowhere near brutal or crazy enough to really get your blood flowing or give the impression that the band completely goes off live.

It's the sort of stuff which tends to get peddled as "classic old-school death metal", forgetting the very things that made the best bands of that first wave out of Tampa, Florida so great: boundary pushing, great riffs, memorability and above all extremity.

All of this is made more confusing by the fact that Headhunter D.C. - being, despite their name suggesting they're from the capital territory of the USA, from Brazil, so what the fuck is up with that guys? - are in fact literally an old-school death metal band, having been around since 1987. The only conclusion I'm really able to draw from this is that, with the exception of a halfway original creepy intro track, and a similar interlude halfway through the title track, they've learned just about nothing in over 20 years of playing metal.  They haven't gotten more brutal to keep up with the developments of the death metal scene. They haven't gotten more experimental in an attempt to escape the boring cycle that takes up so much of death metal, as it does just about every genre. And they haven't learned to write songs that stick with the listener, even after multiple listens.

There are some parts on God's Spreading Cancer where it seems like the band is just about to get into a great riff, but then they go and stuff it up with more generic mid-paced chugging, or mildly fast grinding with no real urgency to it, as if they're afraid of original ideas and have resigned themselves to just going through the motions. 

And if they've changed this little in over twenty years, that's probably the case.

Headhunter D.C.'s God's Spreading Cancer is out now on Ibex Moon Records.