Oh my fucking ears, this is a nuclear migraine. Just when I thought sludge had reached its artistic zenith (or should that be nadir) I hear this. This is about as down tuned and nasty as this slothful and hateful genre can get. Thick like the thickest and hottest pea and ham soup in the world, slowly being poured upon your aching head. Surely this is the ultimate soundtrack to humankind’s pitiful, cowardly, violent and parasitic history. This is sonic diarrhoea, and it’s fucking beautiful man.
Ohio’s Fistula brew up a foul sound to die for. Just to cap it off, brilliant metal artist Scott Stearns plays guitar in the band and does samples too. What a bonus. He also designed the ace front cover, which would make a tattoo to die for. ‘Burn The Ladder’ starts this weighty eight track album (their fifth full lengther) with a stuttering and impossibly drop tuned two note riff. Throat mutilator Corey Bing matches the filthy nastiness of the guitars with a blackened sub-roar from the very putrid bowels of a dying Orc Warlord. Like all the tracks here, this monster lurches and wheezes along like an iron war machine with Ann Widdecombe’s decapitated head stuck on the front of it, the super slow tempo punctuated by hard and violent snare and kick drum hits.
‘Vomit (Black)’ highlights the stunning and brutal simplicity of Fistula’s songs, they are not crowded with a needless proliferation of notes: therefore every track is imbued with an impressive sense of yawning chasm size. Why say it with seven notes when you can ram the point home with two? This super sludge minimalism makes their sound dynamics truly ponderous and bulbous and adds that extra weight so needed for any lover of this kind of dark turgid spite.
‘Cat Skulls Are Thick’ is so dense and compacted, then it rips out in a blast of pummelling hardcore. ‘The Butcher’ is almost a conventional rock song, apart from the fact it is played by evil Neanderthals who are lost in a psychotic fug of endless cheap booze and bad grass. Closing track ‘Monkey Astronaut’ starts with dirty low bass and looped samples of some retarded right wing politician droning on in moral outrage about some shit or other. In places someone is bellowing through a megaphone or summat, and combined with the insanely whining and disorientating lead guitar, this sounds exactly like early Butthole Surfers jamming with Weedeater; in a partially illuminated blood spattered chamber in an abandoned research station on Mars; in the game ‘Doom III’. We are talking really nasty and not well in the head here. Fistula are fucking hideous. Yay! I want them to play unannounced at a children’s party, a posh one with a bouncy castle and clowns and a vicar.
Scribed by: Adam Stone