You could argue that this is a death-metal ‘supergroup’ if you were into such contrived terminology, because Brisbane’s Feculent consists of members from such luminaries as Shackles, Idle Ruin, Snorlax, Resin Tomb, and Siberian Hell Sounds. This is itself should let you know that you’re in for some sordid death metal fun of the grimiest type because that’s what you’ll be getting. Oh yes.
Opener The Grotesque Arena: Upon Splintered Bone kicks off with some heinous blasting and guitars to crush your skull and ruin your mind. You might not want to play this when you have a hang-over; I know this from experience. Gurgling vocals are spat forth and half the time I have no idea what’s being said but at other times I think I can make out the lyrics so it’s archetypical death metal vocal delivery. Either way, it’s a very heavy affair of distortion, howling mania and general death metal fun. Host Consumed slows the pace for about ten seconds before the drums start flinging their excrement at you. I particularly liked the skin and stick work on this as well as the vocals that seemed to be hollered while having a brain haemorrhage. Such vehemence.
Weaponisation of the Amygdala: Endless Warfare has distinct whiffs of blackened death metal about it, which is nice because it shows the broad capabilities of everyone involved – this is no ‘one shit pony’. That’s a piss-weak pun, right there. A Pit of Unscalable Depths brings the listener straight back to death metal territory after the previous track’s blackened adventures. The drums are pounding and so is my head. Suffer, little Albert, suffer. There’s so much distortion I’m finding it difficult to breathe. The vocals are bubbling out of the speakers like black lava and it’s almost too much. But I push on in the interests of powerful musical journalism. Suddenly it’s over and I’m left wanting more of the delicious goodness. Luckily Beneath Bedlam kicks in and I’m saved by the dramatic intro. You know it’s going to go off shortly and the slow build adds a delicious sense of anticipation. Slow bass notes punch through over the guitars. Ha! You dirty bastards have tricked me. It’s a slower but deliciously heavy number that just teases you to death, and it’s one of my favourite tracks on here, and it’s almost an intro for final track The Grotesque Arena: A Perverse Spectacle which goes back to the mental death metal stylings of the opening track so it’s all nicely rounded out.
My only real gripe is that The Grotesque Arena seems too bloody short. I want more and hopefully Feculent will be releasing some more fucked up skanky death metal tunes soon. A splendid taste of things to come.
The Grotesque Arena releases on March 19th.