OPTIMUM WOUND PROFILE  Lowest Common Denominator  CASSETTE   (Roadrunner)   9.99

Quite rare still-sealed cassette from the chasms of the Roadrunner warehouse.

Poland's Metal Mind Productions has reissued both of Optimum Wound Profile's first two albums that were originally released on Roadrunner Records in the early half of the 1990's, and we now have both the debut album Lowest Common Denominator and their 1993 followup Silver Or Lead in stock. At least for the time being, that is, as both of these deluxe reissues have been released in a limited edition of 2,000 copies, each one machine-numbered, and presented in new digipack packaging.

By the time that Optimum Wound Profile released their debut in 1992, Ministry's industrial speedmetal classic The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste had already been out for three years, and the whole industrial/metal sound was blowing up with bands like KMFDM, Fear Factory, Treponem Pal, Young Gods, Nailbomb, and Meathook Seed coming out of the woodwork with various hybrids of industrial music, sampling technologies and brutal, metallic guitars. When you listen to Lowest Common Denominator now fifteen years later, you can tell that the later Ministry stuff was probably a huge influence on the formation of their sound, but at the same time, Optimum Wound Profile also prefigured the industrial-crustcore hybrid that Nailbomb would popularize in their 1994 album Point Blank . Crushing, thrashy guitars and slower, stenchy riffage is fused to midpaced beats and rolling, almost tribal drum programming, with heavy use of repetitive sections that made OWP kind of trance inducing at times. The two vocalists really give this a crusty, UK hardcore edge, with Extreme Noise Terror frontman Phil Vane holding down the deep demonic roars while Simon Finbow emits the higher, hysterical shrieks and shouting.

It all comes out sounding a bit like Extreme Noise Terror if the band had included Al Jourgensen as a member, bringing on synths, drum machines and creepy samples to their vicious thrash. The use of samples is really well done, creating an eerie atmosphere with bits of obscure film dialogue and murky ambience situated in between tracks and layered with the grinding machine rhythms. It's a less experimental album than their follow-up Silver And Lead, but you'll still find some weird industrial stuff on here like the thirteen minute track "Crave", which opens with some dark acoustic guitar strum but then turns into a long, claustrophobic trance of pounding percussion loops, sheets of fuzzed out guitar drone and a long segment of the taped testimony of serial killer Edmund Kemper attesting to his killings over the oppressive, Swans-like dirge.