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Fistula – Loser

by Phillip Lawless at 09 February 2012, 10:22 AM

I’ll admit, opening this review, that this is a befuddling album. Part down-tuned Doom, part destructive gurgle Death, part Noisecore dumb. FISTULA appear to be in the midst of an underground Metal identity crisis. And almost every outburst of song seems to delight in confusing and distracting the listener.

Take opener “Picking Up Chicks”.The track is almost seven minutes long, and it is either four different songs or a mish-mash of different styles rammed into one mega-track. The first section lasts about one minute and 40 seconds, and it features a steady drum toll, a simplistic Doom riff and growled vocals. The song comes to a complete stop at the end of this section, and then a brutish blast beat kicks in. This fast section lasts about a minute, then it is back to basic Doom and grunts until the five minute mark. The song’s finale is almost two minutes of a vacillating noise. This wooly mammoth of a song is followed by “I’m Glad Nate’s Not in A.C.,” a 25 second joke tune that is an obvious reference to drummer Nate Linehan’s time in A.C.

“The Hounds” is six minutes long, and again the first two minutes act as a separate song. There’s some upbeat drum thumping here, and the stripped down guitar part and guttural vocals impress. Up next is a destructo-Doom slowdown. A simple Sludge riff/beat acts as the foundation of the song, and distorted vocals and a noise track are layered on top. The band rides the repetitive riff to the end of the song, and this section is one highlight on the album.

A rollicking Death section starts “Mutant Tooth,” and it soon shoves into a bouncy chorus. The speed lasts just over a minute, and it’s back to the trudging tempos. FISTULA definitely knows the secret to writing simple, emotive doom riffs. The song clunks on and eventually tapers down to electro noise and an occasional guitar chord. “Coma Forever” switches the script by moving stomp slow at the beginning before moving into blast beats. The speedy second section flashes by, then the Sludge slowdown is a fuzzed out mess made with a loping riff and thick, shouted vocals.

Three-minute title track “Loser” closes out the EP with the burliest riff yet. Seriously, this song is heavier than a hippopotamus, and wider than Rosie O’Donnell’s manly rear end. This nasty little track will have listeners making Nordic Metal faces in the mirror for at least a solid two minutes and 50 seconds.

Wrapping up, this album is enjoyable enough; it’s just a scattershot affair. I can see fans of early FUDGE TUNNEL and possibly EYEHATEGOD feeling it. But, be warned, new listeners should definitely keep an open mind. I listened to the EP a number of times, and I found myself struggling at times to take it seriously. I would feel guilty about it, but something tells me FISTULA feels the same way.

P.S.: Look up FISTULA in the dictionary. Ouch.

2 Star Rating

1. Picking Up Chicks
2. I’m Glad Nate’s Not in A.C.
3. The Hounds
4. Mutant Tooth
5. Coma Forever
6. Loser
Corey Bing – guitar
Nate Linehan – drums
Steve Barcus – vokills
Jesse Kling – noise
Record Label: Patac Records


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