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Putrid Offal – Sicknesses Obsessions

Putrid Offal
Sicknesses Obsessions
by Colum Hill at 08 August 2020, 12:15 PM

PUTRID OFFAL originally formed in France way back in 1991, when Death Metal and Grindcore – especially Goregrind – were still young. As a matter of fact, PUTRID OFFAL were one of the first bands to record Goregrind along with CARCASS and IMPETIGO. Taking a long hiatus from recording throughout the late 90s and early 2000s, they reformed to record the "Suffering" EP in 2014. While PUTRID OFFAL'S earlier sound was that of gore-drenched Carcass-core, their later work – including "Sicknesses Obsessions" – is Death Metal first and foremost, with thick, driving riffs in the foreground and with the only remaining Goregrind elements surviving in some of the high-low vocals and occasionally crust-like drumming.

That being said, it might not be obvious from the intro "Autopsy" which is made up of building guitars and medical samples - that the Goregrind has mostly been abandonded, but that all changes with "Let There Be Rot:" driving, pumping, blasting Death Metal with a strong old school mid-90s feel. Mid-way through we get an atmospheric breakdown section offering some slight respite – foreshadowing some of the more atmospheric passages to come. "Dura Mater" comes roaring in next with a heavy groove riff – one of the highlights of the album, it alternates between chugging, blasting and more atmospheric sections maintained by high-end guitar thrills.

"Necrotic Mutilation" is very old school sounding, with atmospheric guitars and chugging breaks, overall reminding me of BOLT THROWER with their rolling, tank-like drums and militant riffwork. It should be stressed that even though the album often has a stomping, mid to mid-fast paced feel, the drum work can get incredibly fast, with songs like "Charnel House" juxtaposing steady, almost thrashy mid-paced mosh riffs with crushingly fast blast beat sections. Mid-way through "Charnel House" we are also introduced to some operatic vocals: these atmospheric flourishes come and go throughout the album – "Skilled Ritual," another single from the album, showcases this best. It blasts open with a classic Death Metal riff, evoking a strong feeling of horror. This develops into a mid-paced stomp accompanied by a fantastic liturgical chant that accompanies the heavy, droning riffs and Peiffer's monstrous growl.

The operatic flourishes return in the micro-grinder "Glorify Me," accenting the main melodic riff in between the blast sections. The breadth of this track points at the lingering influence of Grindcore on PUTRID OFFAL'S sound, even though they are most fundamentally a Death Metal band at this stage. Nevertheless, the Grindcore roots continue to make their presence known on songs like "Pallor Mortis" (with its lightning fast, come-and-go nature) and "A Rot's Caress," with it's Goregrind/Grindcore-like drumming and high-pitched shrieks.

PUTRID OFFAL'S "Sicknesses Obsession" is a grinding, intense slab of Death Metal reminding me in parts of BOLT THROWER and CANNIBAL CORPSE, with just a shadow of Goregrind influence. This comes about mostly in the grinding, blasting sections and the shorter-than-average track times, but the punkiness of Grindcore and old school Goregrind is mostly absent other than some of the thrashy d-beat sections. The atmospheric, liturgical sections add an extra layer of intrigue to the album - it is not the sort of thing you would expect from this sort of gorey Death Metal and is more akin to something that you might hear from a black metal band like BATUSHKA, but it really accents the music well. The influence is always minimal and well-incorporated into the track, never relied upon as a novelty but instead adding an extra layer of quality to the album.

Overall I liked "Sicknesses Obsessions" a great deal. It is heavy, intense, war-ready and unrelenting with grinding drums and a bludgeoning riffing style that harks back to classic mid-90s Death Metal, bordering on the more brutal styles without ever abandoning the old school.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Autopsy
2. Let There Be Rot
3. Dura Mater
4. Necrotic Mutilation
5. Charnel House
6. A Rot's Caress
7. Glorify Me
8. Livor Mortis
9. Lifeblood Ejected
10. Viscera
11. Palor Mortis
12. Skilled Ritual
13. Barber Butcher
14. Y Shaped
15. Heaven's Door
Franck Peiffer – Vocals
Philippe Reinhalter – Guitars
Laye Louhenapessy – Drums
Frédéric Houriez – Bass
Record Label: XenoKorp


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