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Putrid Offal – Live at Hellfest 2017

Putrid Offal
Live at Hellfest 2017
by Andrew Graham at 07 January 2021, 8:48 PM

Long-established French goregrind act PUTRID OFFAL deliver a thunderous live set at Hellfest 2017, showing the world that this often cheesy microgenre still has the power to rock heads and start pits! For many established acts (seminal among them CARCASS) goregrind was but a phase in their long and fascinating development. It would therefore be easy to presume that bands who remained in the genre were simply reluctant to change or were terminal Peter Pan cases who wouldn’t grow up: not so! In a truly horrifying live set (in the way that a band of this kind should be!) PUTRID OFFAL silence any voices who would question whether or not this is still a viable genre.

Opener “Livor Mortis” pays respectful nods to CARCASS’ first record (seems only natural to me, less plagiarism, more akin to paying respects to one’s forebears). There is a very satisfying recurring riff that pays delightful homage to the punk roots of grindcore (as a notorious genre-nerd I cannot help but notice these kinds of genealogical references!) “Purulent Cold” continues this theme, with a very death ‘n’ rolly mid-riff in the spirit of the first track also.

“Let There Be Rot” bears slightly more of the hardcore punk feel about it, complete with gang-style shouts from the drummer (who, if you watch the video of the live set, is clearly having a HUGE time! Seriously, it’s a joy to watch!) Just as a side-note here, Laye’s drumming is especially tight, this is very clearly a talented gentleman! A gurgly bass line opens “From Plasma to Embalming”, before we get something like a compilation of the hallmarks of great death metal (including a tremolo section that has a whiff of BLOODBATH about it).

The next track of serious note is “Necrotic Mutilation”, which features another of the compulsively head-banging riffs that this band seem just so good at! “Rotted Flesh” opens with a tremolo riff that reminded me very much of METALLICA’S “Disposable Heroes”, before hitting us in the face with more of the goregrind mastery we have seen up to now right down to compulsively rockin’ punky passage towards the end. We close with “Suffering” that at once evokes all the punky attitude coming from the grindcore side of the family, with the glorious majesty of death metal greats like MALEVOLENT CREATION. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable spectacle – you should definitely watch the video of the entire live set, generously included by the band’s label.

If there’s any issue here at all, it’s that there isn’t a whole lot to distinguish between tracks – they’re all rather similar. I feel that’s an issue with much of this genre, but that absolutely does not mean it isn’t also huge fun, which it is! It is fun, isn’t it dear reader, to occasionally return to classics like “Reek of Putrefaction” for the giggles, if not necessarily the music (come at me diehard goregrind fans!) but here we see that actually this kind of music does stand up in its own right, and justifiably so: to PUTRID OFFAL I say, restez brutal!

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

  1. Livor Mortis
  2. Purulent Cold
  3. Let There Be Rot
  4. From Plasma to Embalming
  5. Repulsive Corpse
  6. Necrotic Mutilation
  7. Gurgling Prey
  8. Rotted Flesh
  9. Organic Excavation
  10. Suffering
Franck Peiffer – Vocals
Philippe Reinhalter – Guitar
Fred Houriez – Bass
Laye Louhenapessy – Drums
Record Label: XenoKorp


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