Given the name I expected a gore fest that would push the limits of my extreme boundaries way beyond even my sick and warped mind; on the contrary, 'Stillbirth' is an excellent chunk of high quality death Metal that is surprisingly easy to listen to.
Together for only twelve months, Swedish death quartet Fetus Stench have produced a debut album to a standard that I would expect from a seasoned band of three to four full lengths, however the band does contain members who also perform with Blood Red Throne, Inferior and Anti Christian Death Squad so a certain standard is expected and delivered.
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Soundwise, what you get is simple raw rhythms, no frills, 90s influenced brutal death Metal, sludgy but with a formidable edge and an intense sound. The vocals on offer from Bjӧrte are deep and gargling yet the lyrics are clear, such is the power and intensity of his vocal ability. Emil, currently playing also with Blood Red Throne, is an absolute whirlwind behind the drum kit, adding a deep intensity to the sound.
I don't have a favourite track; this is an album of a consistent standard throughout and is best considered as a whole. Beginning with 'Meat Grinder Flesh Obliteration' which opens on a cascade of drums and a soaring blood curdling growl. It's frantic paced, with a pounding, haunting, hypnotic edge. The tempo drops midway, adding a sinister feel to the track. The high speed onslaught continues with 'Stillborn Son' and it is at this point the dark humour in the lyrics becomes apparent.
Coming at you with a ballistic fury, 'Brennkommando' is intense drum work, machine gun riffs and brutal vocals combined with military precision. On 'The Outer Island', the spiralling riffs are what make this track exciting listening.
The next track, 'Severe Suffering', has a bit of a dirty, underlying groove at times and is delightfully sinister and sludgy, capped off with the excellent vocals and a bit of a solo just after the midway point. I found the repeat riff on 'Necrosis' quite hypnotic.
The track 'Bashed, Defaced And Disfigured' describes just how you feel after listening to this gem, but in a good way. Tranquil respite is found midway with a drop of tempo but rest assured your ears cannot fully escape the brutality for long.
'Descending Into The Realm Of The Dead' switches between a dirty groove and frantic mayhem. Finally, predominantly slower in tempo, with sinister guitars and some intense blasting drum work 'By Butchery Divorced' is a fitting end to the album.
I will concede that yes, we have heard similar, but when something is executed to this standard there will always be room in my collection for it and if you consider yourself a Metal head then there should be room in yours also. This is essential listening - go buy it.
'Stillbirth' is out now on Abyss Records.