Friday, July 01, 2011

Gore and Perversion

What's the most shocking and controversial album by a Welsh act ever? No, it’s not Harry Secombe’s kooky I’ll Walk With God LP, but Gore and Perversion by Desecration. This unsavoury debut was spawned in Newport in 1995. Newport at that time was the most pop culturally fertile place in Wales and was even mirthfully dubbed 'the new Seattle'. Desecration, though, stood somewhat apart from the town's burgeoning rock/indie scene. They were (and still are) a death metal band to be reckoned with.

Why was Gore and Perversion so reviled? Mainly because of its cover artwork which would test the freedom of expression principles of even the most dedicated libertarian. In fact, so unpleasant is the album’s cartoon graphic that I am unable to reproduce it here for fear of upsetting the fragile sensibilities of my, ahem, readership. The curious, however, can find it easily enough online – just do an image search for “Gore and Perversion”.

The company who printed the original cover (after pocketing the band’s money) was so disgusted by it that they contacted Gwent police. The fuzz deemed the recording obscene and all available copies were seized and destroyed. Members of the band had their homes raided and legal proceedings ensued. The upshot being that Desecration were ordered to tone down their content or quit the business altogether.

The other disturbing facet of the album was its lyrical content. Nobody would expect a death metal outfit to sing about puppies and kittens but Gore and Perversion’s remorseless and graphic focus on sexual violence and nether-region mutilation, shocked even hardened devotees of the genre. Songs on the album included, Raping the Corpse, Penile Dissection, Mutilated Genitalia and the distinctly less than charming Dead Bitch in the Skip. That Ollie Jones, the band’s singer and songwriter, was an actual mortician only added to Desecration’s notoriety.

Gore and Perversion would eventually be released with a black printed sticker over the original artwork apologising for the censorship (see pic). The whole album was re-recorded and re-released in 2003 as Gore and Perversion 2. In spite of – or perhaps benefitting from – their early notoriety Desecration have continued merrily down the death metal highway, producing many albums along the way, the last of which was Forensix. You can see a YouTube interview with two members of the band here, of which the only shocking thing is how terribly nice they appear to be.