Digging through the the freshly renewed mass grave of death metal is a slog through gore and refuse, with fresh corpses being dumped in constantly. Among the stench of decay, you can catch a more pungent malodor, stemming from a writhing pile of extremely rotten flesh. The mass seems to move and shift still, ripe with bacteria and maggots, this pile is Fetid. Within its genre, Fetid manages to slither to to the top of the bowl as the most disgusting of it all, with its invariably shifting rhythms that conjure a mass of fluctuating rot that you can’t help but marvel at.
Steeping Corporeal Mess introduces you to its repugnant form with an unsettling sample and immediately presents you with the sludge of peeling off a fresh scab. A slow and intoxicating riff takes hold, ripe with nausea, slowly dissolving your innards. As the riff continues it only continues to get more brutal. Muted open strings are complemented by excellent drum fills, where the kick drums evoke hammers upon your skull and the uncertain time signatures of each bar perpetuate your vertigo. Even as you are exposed by a primitive breakdown with a rotten bass tone, the next next riff displays a subtle dissonance that crawls into the back of your mind and twists your logic.
Each section continues to evolve rapidly, never setting with one mold. This is all due to the brilliant drumming, which carries each rhythmic section with uncertainty, continually carrying the oppressive darkness of the album. The guitar and bass tone are ripe with melting viscera, both deep and distorted, roaring like the bowels of hell, violently ricocheting from one moldy idea to the next – the overall intonation reeking of a murky eclipse. Occasional shrill guitar solos bounce off the walls of the corpulent chambers like carrion banshees, adding an element of terror to the vile odyssey.
The only reprieve from Fetid’s everlasting assault of bone shards and vile entrails is granted in the last song, “Draped In What Was”. Leading with a unsettling keyboard intro reminiscent of classic John Carpenter, the anxiety created is rightly justified by being followed by arguably the albums most crushing riff yet, one that you can feel in the very pit of your stomach and the marrow of your bones. The final slow trudge through the dregs encapsulate the album in a glorious technicolor yawn ripe with blood and tripe.
While Steeping Corporeal Mess may be a familiar listen for fans of similar bands like Undergang and Triumvir Foul, Fetid escalates the repugnance to new levels with an inventive understanding of this barbarous new niche of death metal. Each member has mastered the nuances of the genre, accentuated by dramatic and impressive rhythm changes, creating an intimidating new standard for bands that want to capture the aura of decomposing gore.
20 BUCK SPIN will deliver the horrifying Steeping Corporeal Mess debut album on CD and LP from cult death metal outfit FETID.