In what other genre of music besides death metal are adjectives like “noxious”, “rotten”, “pustulent”, and “grotesque” used as compliments? Give that some thought and get back to me; I can’t think of any.
I’m also not sure I could explain to a clueless outlander why the kind of death metal that evokes those descriptions is so appealing to many of us. If your answer is, “Because you’re all deviants,” you’ve probably come to the wrong place for your listening pleasures.
All those adjectives, and more in a similar vein, apply without exaggeration to the demo by Blasphemous Putrefaction we’re premiering today, one day before its release by Dunkelheit Produktionen. This German duo (which includes a member of the black/death band Goatblood) unabashedly traffic in primitive, rotten metal of death, and having chosen to throw themselves into that cesspool of horrifying filth, they go all in — and they’re very damned good at it.
Across the five tracks on this demo (the title of which is Abominable Premonition), Blasphemous Putrefaction basically travel at two speeds: “The world will end in five minutes and I have to eat my way to your liver before that happens”, and “It’s hard to crawl through tar, especially when your spine has been snapped, but give it a go”.
The compact second and fourth tracks, “Grotesque Grave Rape” and “Carnal Lust“, operate in the more animated gear. The songs are still horrifying and foul. The primitive, but thoroughly head-moving, riffs are destructively distorted and corrosive enough to strip flesh from bone, and they grind and heave like a big circle saw.
That guitar tone is really nasty, but maybe even nastier still is the band’s deployment of feedback as a further instrument of nightmarish torture, one that contributes to the music’s overarching atmosphere of eeriness and terror. By now it will come as no surprise that the dominant vocals are the echoing sound of gruesome guttural roars.
But now let’s talk about the drumming, shall we? They made a good choice here, because against the poisonous haze and harrowing of the guitar, the drums boom and echo like timpani recorded in a deep crypt, sometimes segueing into a rhythmic, tribal tumble. Mixed in among the eye-opening detonations of the toms and the bass drum are an array of pneumatic, neck-snapping snare beats and a few bursts of machine-gun blasting, backed by a deep, compulsive bass pulse.
I should also mention that most of the tracks are sprinkled with brief but effective eruptions of thoroughly psychotic soloing.
I did already tell you that Blasphemous Putrefaction have a second gear — the much slower one — and you get a strong stench of that horror in the third and fifth tracks, “Fumes of Horror” and “Blood of Rotten Lambs“, though both of those tracks also include bursts of acceleration along with the cataclysmic moaning, groaning, and crawling.
The closing minutes of that fifth and final track made me imagine the worm-ridden soundtrack of some horrid vampire maggot that injects a paralytic agent into its victim and then gradually eats the suppurating flesh of its host from the inside out. You’d like to flail away in agony, but you can’t move.
Like that imagined maggot, this music has a way of getting under your skin. It has an addictive quality. It gets your head moving at the same time as it generates an atmosphere of true ghastliness.
And the first track is dedicated to laying the groundwork for the building of that atmosphere (did you think I forgot about the first track?). “Open the Grave” delivers the sounds of pouring rain and thunder, along with what might be the scrape of a shovel digging earth from a grave, and the intermittent, reverberating noise of percussive pounding — which eventually becomes a maniacal rumbling frenzy as something that might be the yowls of a beast can also be heard.
Dunkelheit Produktionen will release Abominable Premonition on tape tomorrow.
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