Here it is my fellow headbangers, a part of Grindcore and death metal’s beginnings. Little did I know it started in my home state of Michigan and in the same town I work in, Flint! Repulsion started in the early 80s around 84 to be precise. They were under the name Genocide at that time and gave birth to the new extreme of heavy metal. Most people including myself believe Napalm Death are the true fathers of Grindcore, well they did help perfect it I’ll give them that but Repulsion beat them by a year or two. I’m not taking anything away from Napalm I’m a huge fan, their influence in the extreme metal scene cannot be denied, but the tracks on “Horrified” were originally recorded in 86 and the demo versions under the old band name Genocide were recorded in 85. Napalm Death’s “Scum” was released in 87.
What kept Repulsion from getting the recognition they deserved was being a band way ahead of its time. In the early to mid 80s record labels did not easily accept ultra fast and bludgeoning metal with guttural vocals and graphic gore lyrics. In fact Scott Carlson, Repulsion’s vocalist was a friend of Chuck Schuldiner of the band Death and in 1985 Scott teamed up with Chuck and went down to Tampa Florida to merge Genocide and Death together make one band under the Death moniker. This did not work out and Scott moved back to Flint to reform Genocide and Chuck reformed Death with new members. In 86 under the new name of Repulsion the band recorded “Slaughter of the Innocent” with the financial help of Doug Earp the original owner of Wyatt Earp records, which I still shop at regularly to this day. Later after the lack of label interest Repulsion broke up and not until the late 80s early 90s when Death metal gained major ground did Repulsion get a second look. In 1989 Carcass’s Jeff Walker and Bill Steer decided to release Repulsion’s album changed to the title “Horrified” under their off shoot label of Earache records. So basically Repulsion didn’t get a wider listening audience until the much later in the game. Hence most people wouldn’t think this record predates Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Obituary, and even Entombed’s first albums. The only band that has as long of a history in world of Death metal would be Death. Which in my opinion were the creators of Death metal’s true masterpiece “Scream Bloody Gore”.
Listening to this album, it still as brutal as all get out. The opening track “The Stench of Burning Death” just melts your face off. Other songs titles such as “Decomposed”, “Festering Boils”, and “Maggots in Your Coffin” shred your flesh until nothing is left on your bones. A nice early representation of hard gore lyrics, way before gore death metal veterans Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, and Mortician. None of the songs clock much longer than the 2 minute mark but believe me it’s just enough. One can tell that Repulsion was heavily influenced by bands such as Slayer, Celtic Frost, and Venom, there is tons of homage to these bands in there music, they just turned the notch of brutality a bit further. The bonus disc in this reissue is the true gem here. It contains almost all of Repulsion early demos including their Genocide demos and the songs they recorded when the reunited in 1991, which unfortunately was a short live reunion, a full album was never recorded. All the demos sound great for demos and if you can believe it the Genocide demos are harder than the final versions on “Horrified”. I can’t believe this type extreme music was being played at this time. Think about it when these extreme demos were recorded Bands like Slayer, Metallica, Anthtrax, and Exodus were still young bands. When one thought those bands were as exteme as one could get. Well maybe except for Bathory. Do yourself a favor pick this historical metal album up and blast your eardrums out!