Dead Animal Assembly Plant – OFH: Prime Cuts
Dead Animal Assembly Plaint is an industrial metal act based out of Portland, Oregon, and fronted by Zach Wager who happens to be in HexRx with Roger Jarvis of Negative Gain Productions. Their latest release, OFH: Prime Cuts, is an EP of the best songs from their 2016 album Old Fashion Hellfire which have essentially been mixed again by Marc Jordan and re-mastered by Howie Weinberg. A curious release for a few reasons, it’s not new material, it comes relatively quick after the latest album was released and it features only five of that album’s songs.
I really like this band. I think there’s a huge creative centre within the group and consequently a huge potential for more widespread exposure. Their debut album All My Heroes Are Dead was a fantastic experimental industrial metal release with strong Skinny Puppy atmospherics. I was excited for the follow-up, Old Fashion Hellfire. And it is a good album – but I feel its fatal flaw was the production. The debut actually sounded better. It was frustrating. So here’s an EP of songs from that new album sounding how they should have sounded originally.
The difference is entirely noticeable, with the new versions sounding much more fleshed out, alive and organic. Still retaining that industrial sound but definitely more metallic than ever before. Comparing the two title tracks is like comparing chalk and cheese, it’s really quite astonishing the difference. The guitars are brought up higher in the mix and sound crisper, the drums sound less electronic but more powerful. Similarly with the awesome “Rise With Me”, it just sounds more musical. The chorus on “I Will Suffer” feels re-energised and much more relevant. The contrast on closer “Hopeless” is also startling, almost sounding like it has been re-recorded.
Taking this EP as a standalone release, it’s a fine display of fantastic industrial metal. Listening to it knowing what preceded it, it feels disappointing that all of Old Fashion Hellfire didn’t receive this luxury treatment. Recommended listening nonetheless.
Available from the band on Bandcamp here.