|The Grotesque Arena
|19th of March, 2021
|Brilliant Emperor Records
|Cover Artwork ©
The attentive Metal fan will have noticed long ago that Australia offers the purest oasis for extreme music. A good example of this would be Feculent. The band consists of members from Shackles, Snorlax, Resin Tomb, Descent, Siberian Hell Sounds and Idle Ruin. Their debut album The Grotesque Arena will be released on March 19 (today) via Brilliant Emperor Records. Six songs can be heard on the record, which offer a crisp running time of about 20 minutes in total.
Already with the first song “The Grotesque Arena: Upon Splintered Bone” the band takes the offensive. The vile growls immediately remind of bands like Tomb Mold or Caustic Wound. Besides the devastating guitar riffs, which often alternate between Suffocation slams and Black Metal apocalypse, the drums crush across the battlefield like a machine gun. The whole thing is supported by terrifying shouts, which remind strongly of Hexis and The Body. These provide a gloomy atmosphere, which flashes here and there in the Death Metal sound.
These mentioned influences also form the theme for the entire album. Similarly as just described, this release acts accordingly with “Weaponisation Of The Amygdala: Endless Warfare”. The sinister shouts cloak the whole sound and give the listener a slight Black Metal flavor. This is just supported by the riffing, which every now and then changes from Death into Black Metal, even if only briefly. In contrast, “Host Consumed” takes a slightly different direction. Already the first guitar sound makes the heart of Suffocation fans beat faster. Death Metal from the textbook. Morbid growls, which are complemented by the nagging shouts, provide strong neck pain.
“A Pit Of Unscalable Depths” is probably the strongest song on the album for me. The interplay of drums and guitar creates a wall of noise that sends the listener to the grave after this song at the latest. It starts off like a typical Brutal Death Metal track, but then only picks up speed as the alternating vocal styles complement each other perfectly and sound very refreshing to me. I’m not aware of any band yet that manages to sound so fresh vocally. “Beneath Bedlam” is the slowly grinding lull, which then transitions perfectly into the last song of the album. Here, Feculent show slight Doom and Sludge influences. Whoever is still alive now should have arrived in the underworld at the latest after “The Grotesque Arena: A Perverse Spectacle”. As is typicalfor this album, there are also various tempo changes here. Especially the brute drumming convinces in the last part, before you are thrown into a real pit of death. The whole thing is rounded off by a noise outro, which could not have been nastier.
If you like Brutal Death Metal, you will have a lot of fun with Feculent. These Australians nevertheless set interesting impulses on their debut. Especially the shouts and the changing guitar sound construct a gloomy atmosphere that sounds refreshing and new, especially in the Death Metal field.
8 / 10
“A Pit Of Unscalable Depths”
“The Grotesque Arena: A Perverse Spectacle”.