Just about everyone knows Nuclear Blast
, teutonic label versed in the arts of extreme musics. For those who can't seem to remember a quick name-dropping will help ringing your rusty bell: Atrocity
of Bodom, Dismember
, etc... I could do the whole alphabet but I'm sure you see my point. This said, now, how many of us remember just how this death metal success story started?
Well it did start with Pungent Stench
along with their fellow Austrian pals Disharmonic Orchestra
for a split release, one of NB's very first back in 1989.
European Death Metal
scene, splitted into two renouned schools : England and Sweden, is not yet ready for Pungent Stench
, hailing from their motherland Austria, with the frm intention of rocking codes that have been just carved in stone.
's sound is resolutely rock n' roll. If Martin Schirenc (a.k.a Don Cochino) is assuredly a Death Metal
grunter, his guitar juxtaposes one extra heavy riff after another often favorising longer slower parts reminiscent of doom. Jacek Perkowski's bass (a.k.a. Pitbull Jack
) together with Alex Wank's drums (a.k.a. Mr Stench
) finish the dirty work of killing us all with an assortiment of groovylicious tracks. Surprisingly enough, when Entombed
Blues was released in 1993, the record was praised by most critics, For God Your Soul... For Me Your Flesh
unfortunately will go (almost) unnoticed in... 1990. Death 'n Roll as played by Pungent Stench
seems to never have made it as most Deathsters were too busy at the time worshipping Eareache Records. One can wonder if back then a record not produced by Richardson, Skogsberg or Burns could win the title of being a real Death Metal
record... that and coming from Austria.
is gore, gore and then again... gore. But then none could draw a comparison with the carcassian deities. The Pungent Stench
philosophy is all about fun and if they go 'dirty' it is more because they want to have a good laugh than they really want to offend. As their discography builds up, so will this peculiar Pungent Stench
image which fits them so damn well without ever going into goregrind musicality...
Now the album. Heavy, very heavy. Starts with an intro a la Symphonies of Sickness
(certainly the only thing they will ever have in common with Carcass
) which tells us that forthcoming events sound rather grim (that is musically...). Follows a succession of barely bearable heavy riffs (ok please note that I might be prone to... repeat myself) which oppress us like Winter
-like riffs would, then again followed themselves by a few rock 'n roll soli where tempo goes ultimately up to let M. Schirenc enter with his guttural voice on 'Extreme Deformity
'. The war has just begun.
' with its three minutes retain the same previous pace with a lack of originality saved here and there by Schirenc who gratifies us with a few 'yeah's (although Death-Metal
style) which distantly remind us of Rob Zombie
when playing in White Zombie
. Here without a few mid-tempo parts the track falls into a banal 'blast, solo, blast, solo' sequence. Let's put it that way: not the LP's best track.
Then comes the eponymous 'For God Your Soul... For Me Your Flesh
'. Well frankly this sounds like 'thou who enter here, abandon all hope'. From now on really begins a sonic carnage for a mere seven minutes inferno. Heavy, very heavy, hell I warned you beforehand. Devilish bass breaks along with a sing-along chorus. Technically it's not Opeth
(you're damn right!), but the sheer violence and the true rock 'n roll sound of this track terribly urge you to move your feet, bang your head and what not (hey I myself feel like turning it up all the way hoping to eventually kill my neighbours...). Comes the end and we feel dead and tired listening to oppressive riffs which Cathedral
would have envied...
Hey...? thought you could take some rest. Hell
no. Austro-Deathsters reignite it with the crushing 'Just Let Me Rot
' whose speed and brutality come close to Napalm Death
's 'Harmony Corruption
' which will eventually hit the charts later on in 1990 too. May I say it's worthless to add that once through it, the even further eponymous 'Pungent Stench
' comes to finish the bloody work started a few minutes ago with 2min34 of pure musical disintegration.
The infernal trio cares about you. So 'Bonesawer' will considerably slow down its tempo letting you breathe for a while. The track's construction is close to punk rock with a very nice guitar solo, which itself is remarkably followed by the next song 'Embalmed
in Sulfuric Acid
' which weirdly enough (or willingly) gets produced in an unusual way: guitar and bass seemed to have disappeared letting only grunts and drums taking care of the whole orchestration. Weird...
Okay, the end is drawing near, your suffering will end too in just a few minutes. Yet we were thinking that Pungent Stench
could not, would not go even further until comes the anthemic 'Blood
and Gastric Juice', voted most rock 'n gore track of the whole album and opening the paths for next lp 'Been Caught Buttering'. Speed parts tend to vanish and delirious breaks on top of mini-soli get up together to finish off with the the hilarious, yet super groovy Schirenc's 'JA WOHL!!!!', this performed under the most sensual bass lines (oh yeah, I meant sensual...).
Animation' comes and reminds us that Pungent Stench
IS a Death Metal
band (even if they tend to do nothing like their other peers). The track is more classical in structure, there are even a few 'clear' vocal parts, however it's not worthless notably for the « mosh/guitar solo 'I believe I am Joe Satriani
' » part.
We all need one day to say goodbye, and yes the time has come for us to part on the late 'Small Lunch'. Did I ever mention here that the band is heavy, very heavy?? Oh yes, I did... Well, fuck it, let it be known that Pungent Stench
is heavy. You won't get a chance to listen to Death-Doom
-Rock 'n Roll Gore
on a daily basis... Monstruous and sticky riffs, earthcrushing bass and apetizing lyrics. There goes a little excerpt:
hello grandma how do you like it [...] can you remember you always compeled me to eat and if I wasn't hungry you gave me the sticky now I am hungry but please don't bother you don't have cook because you are my lunch maybe the flesh is a little stingy it doesn't matter it's good for my teeth...
There we are, we finish this review on a humourous note (thanks Gran' Ma) with Pungent Stench
's debut album that, even though it was a total commercial failure 17 years ago, that, even though it will never feast on Mount Olympyous with its other more glorious counterparts, is a FUCKING BOMB.
Thank you for your time. Let's meet on 'Been Caught Buttering'...