Slave To The Scalpel (re-issue)

200 Stab Wounds

200 STAB WOUNDS were formed in 2019 and they are from Cleveland, Ohio. The Death […]
January 8, 2024

200 STAB WOUNDS were formed in 2019 and they are from Cleveland, Ohio. The Death Metal outfit released so far one EP and one full-length album. The debut album “Slave To The Scalpel” has been recorded and mixed by Andy Nelson (HOMEWRECKER; KNOLL) at Brickstop Recording in Chicago, and mastered by Brad Boatright (ALL PIGS MUST DIE; DESECRATOR; GOYA) at Audiosledge in Portland. It has a length of 27 minutes.

Slave To The Scalpel” has been released originally via California Death Metal specialists Maggot Stomp in November 2021. The album has been well received by the critics in general with a few exceptions. The overall good response has led extreme Metal specialists Metal Blade Records to sign 200 STAB WOUNDS in 2023. Since then, the band has moved on with the 2023 single release “Masters Of Morbidity”, and apparently their new full-length album is ready to be unleashed in 2024. Just on time, Metal Blade Records reissued Slave To The Scalpel” in November 2023, and here we are, just two years after the original release, the same nine tracks are available on CD and on vinyl in five colors under a different label.

Slave To The Scalpel” is old school American Death Metal, inspired by the likes of CANNIBAL CORPSE, DEICIDE, or MORBID ANGEL. Many of the tracks are mid-tempo songs with twists and turns in rhythm and simple and direct guitar riffs. “Tow Rope Around The Throat” is a good example for the rhythm breaks throughout the track. The vocals are typically deeper lying growls with little versatility. Lead guitars contribute now and then, but with little technicality. “Skin Milk” includes one of the rare lead guitar solos. The rhythm of many tracks is often sluggish for some parts of the track until the rhythm break kicks in, such as in “Itty Bitty Pieces”. I am not quite sure what to make of the SLAYER-esque transition to the final and faster part of the track. As every good traditional Death Metal record, Slave To The Scalpel” contains a few tension-building, cinematic pre-ludes as in “Phallic Filth” or “Paths To Change”, even though for me the former one is still too much in “Reign In Blood” mode. There are a few highlights on the album, for example “Itty Bitty Pieces” or, for those who like it faster, the title song or “Paths To Change”. “Paths To Change” is arguably the fastest track on the album and my favorite one. 

Overall, I think that Slave To The Scalpel” was a promising debut album of a young and exciting band with some potential of improvement in songwriting. This view did not change after listening to the reissue of the album two years later. In general, I have mixed feelings with reissues, unless there is included some extra contents or some bonus tracks. This is not the case here, but it might give Slave To The Scalpel” a greater exposure to the Death Metal world and it potentially pushes a new release of the band. So, let us hope for more old school Death Metal from 200 STAB WOUNDS in 2024.

8 / 10









"Slave To The Scalpel (re-issue)" Track-listing:
  1. Skin Milk
  2. Tow Rope Around The Throat
  3. Stiffing Stew
  4. Itty Bitty Pieces
  5. Phallic Filth
  6. Slave To the Scalpel
  7. Drilling Your Head
  8. Paths To Change
  9. Expirated Spatter
200 Stab Wounds Lineup:

Steve Buhl Vocals, Guitars

Lance Buckley Guitars

Owen Pooley Drums

Ezra Cook Bass

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