Jesus Wept bring melodic death, classic era-style bloodshed on gory EP ‘Psychedelic Degeneracy’

Photo by Chloe Whitehouse

Death metal can be gruesome grounds in which to situate yourself. I know, I’m really breaking some ground here. It’s definitely not for the weak of heart, and I imagine people who are not used to heavier sounds probably think this style of music has risen from hell to infect humankind. And who’s to say they’re wrong? Let me see your evidence!

One band among a slew that are trying to keep death metal inhospitable are Detroit beasts Jesus Wept who have lashed back with their second EP “Psychedelic Degeneracy,” their first new music in five years. While their resume isn’t swollen by any means, the band—vocalist C. Colaianni, guitarist R. Versace, bassist/vocalist N. Barnes, drummer C. McCoy—has made the best of what they’re offered the world, and these four new songs serve as a reminder their tools are sharp and ready to slice. On top of that, the songs are a blast as they rush by you, taking a page from classic death metal’s blood-soaked cookbook and using it to violently good use.

“Surgical Punishment Symmetry” slowly dawns with a sample of a surgeon explaining a particularly gruesome procedure involving the spine, and then the pace opens and chugs in place, pushing brutality. Shrieks and growls mix as mystical playing slips in a creates hypnosis, and then we’re back to viciousness, with the track coming to a punishing end. “Dispossession” clobbers as the punchy verses draw blood, and the vocals crush with Colaianni vowing, “There is no escape!” Things get spacious for a moment before the violence returns, taking on a putrid Carcass-style essence, and a gust of speed leaves everything in its noxious fumes. The title cut bursts with crunchy verses and smashing pain as the vocals get particularly nasty. Strange notes drip in and make waters murky, and out of an atmospheric pocket comes a lightning-sharp solo that keeps things aggressive until it all ends abruptly. “God Fetish” closes the EP with stirring riffs and a whipping tempo with the vocals going for strangulation. The guitars swagger and charge, things gets thrashier, and the growls spit venom, ending the track pouring salt into your festering wounds.

Jesus Wept’s death metal is bloody, gruesome, and unforgiving, but it’s also a lot of fun to experience, which “Psychedelic Degeneracy” proves repeatedly. This second EP only strengthens their name and power source, and the threat of a full-length is something that’s both exciting to think about and may be harrowing to witness. This band is building a solid foundation, and more killers like these four cuts only can swell their reputation.

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