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Optimum Wound Profile: Lowest Common Dominator (remaster)

Optimum Wound Profile (whose name is taken from a J.G. Ballard book chapter) is meant to describe "the ultimate killing point" on the human body (Pretty brutal, huh?). Hailing from the UK, this band played a potent blend of industrial/hardcore with a socio-political slant to their lyrical content in the early 90's.

The CDbeing evaluated, Lowest Common Dominator (Metal Mind 2007) is the debut recording by the band and it showcases a sound more in keeping with the hardcore end of the spectrum. With a primary foundation of straight-ahead style instrumentation, there is less electronic experimentation with samples and ambiance on this than their follow up entitled Silver or Lead. Not to say that this is not appealing, but I enjoy the increased compositional aptitude of the follow up much more.

Opening this cd is the song "Drain" whose primary riff makes reappearance on their second lp Silver or Lead as "Twisted" is a repetitive, shouted infliction of damage that drowns and pounds without remorse. "Ego Crotch" and "Downmouth" bring the tempo up considerably and are delivered with a distorted vocal that really grooves with the onslaught of pounding on the drums. "Blindfold" really makes good use of spoken word samples to reinforce some of the bands lyrics over top of some guitar work that is at times, similar to black metal strumming; especially around the 2:52 mark. It could be said that this is a little raw and the songs a little undeveloped, but these guys were finding themselves at this time and the overall intensity certainly helps this project out. The one thing that I can really appreciate is that these songs would sound great in a live setting. Sometimes this music can sound like somebody cueing a tape if these bands were to go onstage because of so much sampling, but that isn't the case here.

Again, I must make mention of the nice packaging, bonus material and access to music, once out of reach. Metal Mind is certainly the leading edge in all things reissue!

Track Listing
1. Drain
2. Tranqhead
3. Ego Crotch
4. Downmouth
5. You're Weak
6. Blindfolded
7. Incision
8. Responsibility
9. Skin
10. Melt
11. Damage
12. Crave
13. Core Melt

Added: October 4th 2007
Reviewer: Hugh Dark
Related Link: Band's My Space Page
Hits: 2034
Language: english

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