You may remember I was rather keen on Barbarian Swords‘ last effort, Anti-Dogma Megaforce, which was belched into existence only last year. Well, I’m pleased to report that the Barcelona bruisers are back in 2024 with a new offering – the appropriately-monikered Fetid – and even more pleased to deliver the news that it’s very much business as usual for Sentinel Daily’s fave Catalans…

That said, there’s an air of progression about Fetid that I wasn’t expecting, suggesting that the full-force filth of last years offering may have been only one of a set of strings to this particular bow. Opening tracks Cherokee Firestorm and Six Feet of Justice lurch into earshot at a snails pace, whilst third track Tancredus, Smash, is a positively doom-laden crawl, relying on sheer weight of riffage to crush the life out of any opposition it might encounter.

So, if you liked the grind element in BS’ music in 2023 you might struggle a bit with Steamroller‘s tortured string bending here; But that’s not to say that this isn’t still an absolute romper stomper of a record in it’s own right. The band are simply returning (so possibly progression wasn’t the right word to use) to their more blackened settings of earlier releases.

The key to this band’s success lies, as ever, in the absolutely unhinged vocal approach of Von Päx, a man for who my usual lexicon of blast furnace/road drill analogies is simply not enough. In fact, I don’t know of any humanly-derived words that can adequately describe what was going on in the vocal booth during the recording of Tancredus…, save to comment that I’m pleased somebody had the presence of mind to set the tapes rolling before fleeing the studio in fear of their lives. It’s a remarkable effort that simply pales in the retelling – you must hear it to fully appreciate the full horror…

Genocidal Theogony is positively majestic, thanks to some discrete keyboard instrumentation underpinning vital areas and some inspired lead guitar work (not to mention session man Uretra‘s thunderous drum barrage); Steamrolller and J. Pnzr certainly aren’t backwards in coming forward when it comes to laying down a wall of six-string sound, that’s for sure!

The final brace of tracks Even Brave Men Fear Death and Not Even Light carry on in much the same fashion, battering the listener senseless with riff after gargantuan riff in a fabulous display of  senseless overkill. We need more bands like Barbarian Swords in our lives, but for now just give thanks to whichever graven idol you grovel in front of that this one band exists in such gloriously pure form – and then make the cash purchase you know you’re dying to make… NOW!

Fetid releases on April 26th.