I’ve said it before but it’s worth reiterating, I love Death Metal and the horror that comes with it. Fun fact, when I was a teenager I saved up all my pocket money for a few weeks just so I could purchase the ominous white jacket covered special edition of Carcass’ Reek Of Putrefaction. I was drawn to the bold letters on the front stating ‘Gore Cover’, naturally as a young upcoming Metal enthusiast I had to see what this was all about, needless to say I was shocked. Turning the album over to gaze at the track list I was met by such titles as Genital Grinder, Carbonized Eyesockets and Vomited Anal Tract, and that’s just the first half! This has since seen me go on an all out blood drenched journey to the furtherest reaches of Death Metal, and long may it continue.

Seeking the sickness this time around come Fetid, a three piece Deathgrind outfit from Portland, Oregon a state renowned for its Metal prowess. Having only formed in 2013 under the name Of Corpse, Fetid rebranded themselves in 2016 before releasing a highly praised demo the following year entitled Sentient Pile Of Amorphous Rot. Since then Fetid have gripped the Death Metal underground with their flavour of purulent gristle. Now in 2019 via the ever-reliable 20 Buck Spin we are given Steeping Corporeal Mess the bands anticipated debut full length album, but with so much hype surrounding its release can it live up to expectations.

Referencing back to my introductory paragraph the aptly named Reeking Within opens up the casket of horrors that is Steeping Corporeal Mass. Huge, dare I say Sludge heavy riffs mix with crushing Death Metal blasts in a sort of Incantation meets Mortician kind of way. The more grind heavy portions of this album certainly become very reminiscent of early Carcass, Repulsion and Mortician in the way that they are given a horrible cavernous unintentional badly produced air that harks back to the inception of such virulent filth. Cranial Liquescent plays off similar old medical textbook style themes and comes across as another vigorous down tuned journey through Goregrind oblivion with some truly guttural yet old school vocals, a trait which brings the album back from the dead.

Plodding forth Consumed Periphery comes in with a similar style, in fact it is a consistent and unwavering blend of Death Metal. Yet what it lacks in difference of trend it makes up for in its evolution. Steeping Corporeal Mess sways from Doom encrusted Death Metal straight into Grindcore at a moments notice, these bizarrely progressive patterns make for an all round intriguing listen. The final act comes in the form of the 80’s infused Draped In What Was, a journey from Horror soundtrack to all out armageddon complete with savage riffs and further gurgling vocal barbarity. It does exactly what one would wish for a concluding song to do, it brings together all of the prior influences and leaves the listener destroyed and gasping for more.

Fetid have created a really unique little gem here, never did I think I would be reviewing a five tracked Deathgrind album that lasts for over thirty minutes. The genre-defying nature of this release is something to be marvelled at, for whilst is doesn’t necessarily do anything new it also shows us different routes in which this brand of cavernous sound can be taken. I’ve mentioned it before but this style of Death Metal is really alive at the moment, sometimes I love it, other times of loathe it but when it’s done right it embodies the true sound of Death Metal and makes you realise that this is one of the peaks of the genres more modern sound.

(8/10 George Caley)