Death Metal, Deathgrind, Grindcore

Pharmacist – Flourishing Extremities On Unspoiled Mental Grounds (Review)

Bands: Pharmacist
Release: Flourishing Extremities On Unspoiled Mental Grounds
Genre: Deathgrind
Country: Japan/Ukraine
Release Date:10th of April, 2022
Released viaHells Headbangers
Cover ArtworkAdam Medford

You may be familiar with the saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. With their latest Flourishing Extremities On Unspoiled Mental Grounds (what a title !) the Japanese 2 piece project proves, why this often negatively connoted statement can also serve as a major compliment. Especially within the realms of the overly flourishing Death Metal scene with its countless subgenres, real innovations can hardly be found anymore. One band that helped providing those innovations to our beloved pool of musical extremity into something more than just guts and glory, hailed from Liverpool, England and goes by the name of Carcass. But before releasing one of the first critically acclaimed Melodic Death Metal records Heartwork in 1993, they were also pioneering Grindcore alongside prolific acts such as Napalm Death, Pathologist and Repulsion. You may now ask yourself why this is important for this review, right? Now imagine Heartwork never happened, throw Symphonies/Necroticism era Carcass and Pathologist into a blender and you’ll receive this exact album. And that blood dripping smoothie is delicious, I promise.

The undisclosed duo of “Pharmacist” (Guitars, bass, vocals) and “Therapist” (Drums) provides a refreshing throwback to that era right from the get go with strong opener “Accelerating Suppuration”. Looking at the average run time of 7 minutes per track, one could assume that it would be hard to follow the lengthy compositions. Thanks to the extraordinary solo work provided by added guest Andrew Lee (Ripped to Shreds) and a clever dynamic interplay between faster riff-centered passages and simple but effective grooves, the music hardly becomes stale. A great example of this is “Necromorph”, closing out the albums A side with fantastic and surprisingly melodic solo work by Lee, before heading back to head splitting grind attacks with menacing vocals (that sound just like a combination of Jeff Walker and Bill Steer) and punishing drums. The great contractor follows suit, kicking off the b-side with meaty mid tempo grooves and catchy riffing while the rhythm section takes more relaxed approach to let the lead work take center stage. While some of the album’s further tracks might include some more uninteresting passages (“Nursery Aesthetics” despite its Accursed Womb feature) and the interlude “Peroxide Engagement” feels unnecessary, the record leaves you rather fulfilled when closing out after 46 minutes.

Fans of Deathgrind will find a pleasing addition to their playlist in Pharmacist’s second album which fills the gap between the next Carcass record and the latest Exhumed LP perfectly. All other open-minded music fans with a knack for all things brutal, should also take the risk in checking this out. Imitation hardly sounded this good.

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