I have always wanted to find an album that captures the essence of the Butcher Shop. I think I finally found that record. 200 Stab Wounds released Slave to the Scalpel on November 12, 2021, on Maggot Stomp records. It has probably been one of my favorite releases of 2021. This year, there have been many incredible releases, but I have a soft spot for old-school death metal, and 200 Stab Wounds hit it right on the head.
Some critics have stated that Slave to the Scalpel is nothing new — it sounds like old-school death metal and that’s it. But here’s the thing: when it comes to creating this type of genre in this day in age, it’s not about doing something new. It’s about doing it well and perfecting the sound. And 200 Stab Wounds does just that. They developed an album that perfectly represents the old-school death metal sound. But, of course, not every album has to create something new for it to be good. Slave to the Scalpel sticks with the basics but executes it beautifully.
The album is full of grooves, punchy riffs, and deep growls that will take you back to the ‘90s. There are also intros to some of the songs that help you envision being hacked, chopped, skinned, and gagged. The lyrical content follows a butcher around while searching for their next victim. Each song talks about the different ways the butcher tortures, skins, and kills their victims.
There are some references to doing certain ~things~ to the victim’s body and some cannibalistic references. But this is how traditional death metal was written! From using the skull as a bowl for cereal (which gives me Hannibal Lecter vibes) to sawing down the middle of a body, choking the victim until their eyes bulge, and the pungent stench of a rotting corpse, you can envision yourself in the torment.
Overall, this is a fantastic album. They perfected the sound of traditional death metal and executed it perfectly! It’s hard to conquer a sound that is O.G., but 200 Stab Wounds was up for the challenge.
Tow Rope Around the Throat
Itty Bitty Pieces
Slave to the Scalpel
Drilling Your Head
Paths to Carnage
Favorite song(s): Tow Rope Around the Throat, Itty Bitty Pieces, and Drilling Your Head.
Rating: 10/10 – this album is SO GOOD!! The grooves mixed with torment – my two favorite things.