Stench‘Venture’ is the 2nd album of Swedish extremists Stench. Featuring 2 members of fellow Swedes Tribulation, the 7 new tracks on offer here are sure to have you slyly checking your armpits and changing the bin bags thanks to their fetid gusts of musical foulness billowing from your speakers.

Although they decided to name album no. 2 ‘Venture’, rest assured that it’s not an outlandish twist in terms of their previous outings, in fact the album pretty much begins right where their debut ‘In Putrescence’ left off. Pulling off a thoroughly unwholesome vibe via their own brand of deathly sickness, they saturate your being with their waspish guitars, pounding (and thoroughly audible) bass guitar, and jackhammer drumming. Whilst keeping a primal vibe, they also have expanded upon their penchant for eeriness in their sound thanks to the subtleties and nuance of their guitar work. The sinewy riffage bounds incessantly, with scathing vocals hissing and snarling over the rattling percussion, it makes for a trio of debauchery captured in musical essence.

However, even with all the gnarl to their sound, there is an overwhelming spidery otherworldliness to some of their musical approach which really sets them apart from their contemporaries. Check out ‘Celebration’ as a prime example of just what they can conjure up with some simple, but undeniably effective arrangements and you’ll be hard pushed not to be impressed. Stench embrace the cataclysmic and destructive, but also the profane and immoral, crystalizing them all into a prime slab of extreme metal brilliance via death/black/doom as you know it, but also many other unorthodox methods of pushing their musical message home. The trippy-ness of newer Tribulation, blissed out Enslaved worship and many doomy retreats throughout are a treat for the listener, always keeping you on your toes, never falling for the expected trap of genericism or the overly-predictable well trodden path which plague so many others.

All in all, I found this a thoroughly refreshing listen. Improving and expanding on their earlier blueprint with a bravely appealing eccentric eeriness which suits the music so well. Get stuck into this without a second through!

(8/10 Lars Christiansen)