"Worst Case in Stereo" (Self-produced; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

It has always seemed to me that most death metal bands take themselves way too seriously. Then, along comes a death metal band that calls themselves Kitchen Knife Conspiracy and I start to reconsider that notion. The title of their album, "Worst Case In Stereo," is even more reason to reconsider.

Delving into "Worst Case In Stereo" reveals a few things. One particular revelation is that not all death metal needs to have 100% gore-based lyrics; songs like "Greed" and "The World Is Empty" display more socially conscious and personally revealing lyrics than the genre is known for. Another revelation is that by bucking the tried and true in the death metal formula the band may be simultaneously rejecting and accepting the death metal mantra of staying true to the 'underground' principle of the genre.

Admittedly, the four members of Kitchen Knife Conspiracy would probably be the first to tell you that they are not entirely settled in the death metal musical camp, but rather write groove-laden stompcore (apparently a self-imposed description) that is more akin to Six Feet Under than the classic death metal knee-jerk reaction we all normally get when we think of death metal.

An odd choice to cover Nirvana's "Something In The Way" is included. I doubt any musician would consider Nirvana to be anything but music of a most serious nature and despite all of Kitchen Knife Conspiracy's ability not to take themselves seriously, it seems they give this track the respect and honor it deserves.

Generally, "Worst Case In Stereo" is a pretty good effort and I certainly appreciate the out-of-the-ordinary approach (for a 'death metal' band, anyway) that Kitchen Knife Conspiracy have taken with this disc.

"Worst Case In Stereo" was produced, mixed, and recorded by Steve Austin (Lamb Of God, Today Is The Day). The production is somewhat muddled and stilted (kind of like early Today Is The Day albums what a coincidence).

Kitchen Knife Conspiracy: John on vocals, Jeremy on guitar, Johnny on bass, and Fred on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Apr 2022 15:56:16 -0400.