As the old saying goes “A leopard can’t change its spots”. When you apply this to bands and side projects it is mostly true- musicians tend to naturally gravitate towards what they know. In the case of Septic Tank, this saying is a load of bollocks! Further exploration, exposition and digging about will reveal that Septic Tank formed in 1994 as a side project of Cathedral and surprisingly, their line up consisted of Cathedral’s line up at the time. Septic Tank served as a different outlet for the band, leaning more to the hard-core, thrash and death metal side of things in contrast to the doom and gloom of Cathedral. After being shelved when Cathedral split, the band returned in 2012 and released their self-titled E.P. in 2013. Fast Forward to 2018 where society as a whole is a bit fucked and “Rotting Civilization” seems to be rather fitting.

Straight away you know this record isn’t one to play around. From the opening bars of “Septic Tank”, it’s easy to hear the death and grind influences in the band. Shades of Benediction and Repulsion are clear cut with the filthy and intense musical delivery. The hardcore and slight crossover thrash elements soon surface and before you know it, you find yourself subjected to a plethora of equally intense and aggressive audio assaults which are all laced with venom filled vocals decrying the state of today’s society. “Social Media Whore” pulls no punches as it unloads the payload of lyrics which describes that one person on Facebook we all know (“Great somebody died/ Post a picture/Pretend to cry”). ” Fucked” is a sub-1 minute clusterfuck of chaotic noise which hits like a quick jab from out of nowhere, “Whitewashed” is a scathing attack on the right wingers who try to blame everything on those who oppose them and “Treasurers Of Disease” is a fantastic track which has heavy written all over it!

It’s not just hardcore, death, thrash and grind which show their face on this release. The Proto-Metal stylings of Motörhead and the aggression of classic Punk are present and both feature prominently in the later stages of the release, working brilliantly with the hardcore styled elements. “Death Vase” has the potential to be a fantastic live track with its suspense-budding intro, pounding drums and head-banging groove. The double-hit of ” You Want Some” and” Digging Your Own Grave” keeps the filthy punk/Motörhead approach, injecting a less desolate feel to things before it all comes back to the scathing assault which we are familiar with from before, reaching a stunning conclusion with the title track ” Rotting Civilization” which packs the power, rawness and ferocity of the entire album into a single song!

This release might not be for everyone, but if you like your music angry, hard hitting and out to get anyone who gets in its way, then” Rotting Civilization” is for you!

(9/10 Fraggle)