Steeping Corporeal Mess by Fetid

Ah, when the gods of Old School Death Metal possess youthful, energetic, and undeniably killer musicians. Trudging forth as saints of their almighty craft and hoping the rest of us mere mortal beings don’t loose sight of what’s truly important in this life… Old School Death Metal. Sorry, Jesus. The sheer amount of bands, new and “old”, flying the skin-shredding OSDM flag proudly in music, t-shirts, tattoos, or WHATEVER; and doing so in a proper way to pay respect and proudly let their influences shine as to not merely regurgitate or imitate, just to rock, is proof that it will never die. I think they thought it would.. then comes a record like Fetid’s Steeping Corporeal Mess.. and it sounds exactly like you think it does. Heavy, thick, lurking, boiling, putrid, and profane. It is compromised of gross subject matter, grosser production quality, and the grossest of the gross riffs. Fetid seem to draw upon many sources of enlightening death for inspiration ranging from taking the point of view of a corpse already buried alive, intestinal possession & expulsion, physical as well as mental & supernatural torture, and just general studies of rot and decay. Embodying (literally) all of the above as well as the subtle sounds and textures that go along with it, Fetid has produced an ancient death sludge - primordial ooze of a record that is as timeless in nature as it is in death.. It is perfectly paced, titled, orchestrated, and composed (and decomposed), as that maestros of metal would have it no other way. As the visceral debris remains and pieces of guttural and pulsating precessional harmony pollute the airwaves, I still could not tell you what’s nastier… an actual reeking pile of fly-infested organ meat suspended in gastro-intestinal fluid bubbling and sizzling under a sweltering desert sun; or Fetid’s bass tone. I guess we’ll have to further dissect this 5 song slaughterhouse of a record to try to figure that one out. Who’s with me? Bring your own barf bag. Let’s do this shit.

Seemingly to dropkick the listener square in the chest (this is Sparta style) into an infinite sweltering & oozing void such as brilliantly depicted on the sickly obscure album artwork, giving a new meaning to ‘kicking it old school’ entirely.. which, thank the gore lords, they do. Quite excellently, in fact. Yes, the grimy & guttural OSDM is applied with a strikingly thick brush, but highlights of extravagant color protrude from this landscape of rot as well. Further enhancing Fetid’s flavor of extreme metal, they effortlessly take their songs form a bare bones, knuckle-dragging, death metal hitters to soaring them into an almost uncharted realm of foul stench atmosphere and churning rhythmic zombie-inducing hypnosis. They seem to achieve this honor by pushing songs to around the 6 minute mark, but holding enough back as to not push them into technical/deep space/progressive realms. Although Fetid keep the trackless light and tight at a mere 5 tunes of plunging death, making it either an alt rock album snob’s worst actual nightmare OR the best case scenario for a splatter freak with AD/HD and too many weights to lift. That being said the shorter runtime makes it perfect for a full on 45 minute workout frenzy, although that’s not for everyone; it is a fuck of a lot cheaper than therapy. And Fetid won’t kick you out on the first day for being “noncooperative.” I couldn't have been the only one. SO back to the album.. 5 songs is not much for quantity but the quality is that of unnerving consistency. The songs have been sliced open and packed to the gills with all the grave-opening blast beats, guttural vocals so guttural it sounds like actual guts spewing twisted lyricism at its finest, a hulking and menacing bass section that’ll leave your cranium rattling for days, and not to mention riffs. Did I already mention the riffs? Well, shit, let’s talk about the riffs.

The star of Fetid’s death show is undoubtedly, IMHO, the 6 string. The guitar workings of Mr. Clyle Lindstrom are as exciting as they are horrifying (but what’s the difference really?) as one moment we could be locked into an old killer groove, then at the drop of a dime (or eyeball) we are launched into a riff fueled tempo change into frenzied Dismember territory. Not to mention some spiced up pinch / pick-through- the-eye- harmonics of demons, all before coming back to the almighty death metal RIFF Fetid so effortless spit out and cycle through. Facemelting is far from absent, however, facemelting via intense solos, is.. and I like the record more for it. Instead of a reworked classic death metal solo, they employ of Morbid Angel commandments as to make the guitar shriek, wail, howl, and vomit all over the place. Although Fetid’s tunes push into longer lengths and creeping depths, there is no reach for technicality or shredding, they keep it down to earth. So far below the earth into the primordial depths of such that there is no such room for technicality, just writhing in the gross and gruesome Steeping Corporeal Mess of an atmosphere they created by their wicked hands. As if you have the extreme metal vocabulary down, and not to judge a book by its cover, but you can sort of tell from the obscure yet not obscure enough artwork and logo to be classified as technical/prog death metal while keeping the old school heart still pulsating strongly.. I may be full of shit and that may be irrelevant but I think there’s something to it… and their music holds up to that theory. All in all, I love how they just keeping reinforcing the thick absurdity and heavy catchiness of their riffs. And their stench of rotting death. However, the bass does get more than enough opportunities to shine throw the dankness and blinding bouts of blood, lending a generously rotting hand in assisting the riff mastery to do its duties of death. The chugging and slapping, thick and bleeding tone never gets lost amongst all of the lurking and bubbling elements it has every right to get lost in, and when it has a “solo” moment it seizes it like Jason Voorhees upon an innocent drunken teen’s throat. Now that I think of it, there may be more bass solos on this record than guitar.. *infinite points scored* *cue screams of the innocent, lighting strikes, and showers of blood*

Not to run amok (no pun intended) with comparisons to label-mates Tomb Mold, as they share similar vibes, although Fetid definitely do not push the experimental technicality near as much; they do employ a vocalist who also happens to be the drummer technique not commonly found amongst extreme metal circles for no better reason than what I’m assuming to be is that.. it’s just too fucking hard. Again, not that the drums on Steeping Corporeal Mess are anything to rival Fleshgod Apocalypse or anything, but it is still very much heavy duty death metal drumming.. and, as they say, shit ain’t easy. NOW try laying down breathless guttural vocals of horror on top of that. I applaud anyone’s efforts in that realm. Not to mention the live of sound they achieve with merely 3 dudes in the band, one of which handling drums and vocals alone, is nothing short of impressive. Total bad motherfuckers. May the head banging never cease. Fetid’s Steeping Corporeal Mess is the perfect record for old school fans looking for something just a little more progressive, different, expressive, and probably grosser than anything you’ve heard this year. For the rest of us, it’s just another killer death metal record that very well could register among the best of the year. The fine humans at 20 Buck Spin have unleashed another monstrously sick production yet again… KEEP KILLING IT.

Rating: 4.5/5

Gym Rating: 4/5

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