Album Review: Oozepus – ‘Your Limit’

Your Limit
(Malignant Records)

Hailing from Japan, we have a mixture of doomy grooves and industrial metal here in the form of Oozepus. Your Limit seems to be a sign that the band is not dead, nor should it be. This stuff is simply uncommon and with a vast majority of Japanese acts out there, you’ll find nothing remotely like it; especially as far as the slimy vocal end is concerned. It sounds sort of like a gruff gentleman made entirely of ooze with a slightly watery approach that makes me think of Crowbar if they had submerged Kirk Windstein in a sensory deprivation tank while recording an album. The band also have tinges of noise, which is very common for Japanoise, but the mechanical drum rhythms make for a sound that doesn’t lend itself completely to something like Hanatarash or Merzbow. It’s a bit rustier and the rest of the band might as well be made of cyborgs. You simply must understand that it is very hard for me not to think of the frontman here as a giant sea creature that was recently captured in the waters somewhere near Fukushima. I almost feel that he is more monster than man, which makes this an experience that I’ll certainly never forget.

The project certainly recalls acts like Corrections House, at least judging from the first two numbers “Insult” and the title cut. When we move a little further down the album, we run into “CYN” which has slight grooves that remind me of heavily of a classic Doom tune. The track certainly welcomes more drumming than it does bass, and the frontman does come up for air (albeit with a bite) but that doesn’t stop me from jamming out every time I hear that Doom tune. You know that riff, folks. Come to think of it, maybe there’s a little bit of early Ministry here too. I’d definitely have to consider that a plus. The disc ends with a nearly nine minute cut called “Farmers” which allows for more atmosphere and definitely more doomy chugs. The project truly excels as far as atmosphere and drumming are concerned, which are Oozepus’s strongest parts by far.

There’s an off-chance that this record might be a little too much for some people, but you should already know by now that The Grim Lord loves his share of mad science in terms of musical experimentation and this by far one of my favorite musical experiments of 2017. Oozepus continue to prove (as I myself have struggled to do for the past number of years) that Japan has much more to offer than BabyMetal, and things like Oozepus and Rance have simply given me more of an appreciation for the culture. It’s not secret that I’ve been a fan of almost anything Japanese for many decades now, but I’ve also heard several acts from the area that I didn’t think were all that groundbreaking. Fortunately, Oozepus break this mold awesomely and show the continued strength of Japanese musical experimentation. So much ground covered here, and it’s only an EP. Take note, folks.

Purchase the album here.

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