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Sepsis - To Make Rotten

To Make Rotten
by Chris Hawkins at 19 August 2019, 7:43 PM

Fans of obscure Death Metal from long ago will rejoice.  La Caverna Records has taken it upon themselves to reissue the demo “To Make Rotten” from Eugene, Oregon’s own SEPSIS.  Originally released in 1991, the album is rough around the edges yet serves as a refresher for the sounds of Death Metal closer to its inception when there were practically no rules.  Unfortunately, the band broke up not long after this demo was released so this is their subsequent sole release.

Erratic, raw, and primitive, this album is quite the beast.  If one takes a clear look back to 1991, though, it is easy to indulge in this band’s sometimes-caveman, sometimes-rabid approach to Death Metal.  Keep in mind, though, that at this point in time Death Metal had not evolved into the hydra that it exists as in this day and age.  In that light, the sonic variety provided on “To Make Rotten” is much easier to appreciate.

Spewing Innards” is the title of the first track.  It is frantic at times but truly shines when things slow down and the sound has a brutal AUTOPSY-like feel.  The second track, “Necro Introvert Pesticide Injector,” besides having quite the hefty title, definitely picks up the pace with the main riff having a staggered, shuffle type of feel.  The prominence of the bass is certainly a noteworthy feature as it is able to successfully slice through the mix like the sharpest of blades through warm butter.

The third track, “Fistula Bleeds,” is a prime candidate for a closer look.  It echoes back to a time when there were few rules to guide bands in the genre and as such, it is a romp through myriad styles/approaches.  At times, the band is playing at hyper speed while during other passages, there is an almost Hardcore/Punk feel with ample aggression.  No one would dare classify SEPSIS as boring for the music is constantly changing and exploring various shades of the extreme.  The soloing is quite the feat in the blending of dissonant and melodic approaches like old SLAYER meets classic BOLT THROWER.  There is a massive breakdown early on in “Pain Hotel,” the seventh track, the kind where it is as if the world stops spinning.  One can easily envision the old school circle pit that must have ensued when this was played live and of course, the decadent violence running amok.

When all is said and done, “To Make Rotten” is not a masterpiece but it certainly is a bit of fun.  Listening to the nine songs contained within is like traveling back to a time when the scene was much more open-ended before major labels started signing Death Metal bands.  Though definitely raw and under-produced, “To Make Rotten” is a solid offering from a band unafraid to take risks as they blended early Thrash with NAPALM DEATH and other seminal acts of the day in crafting their sound.  Had they not broken up, one can only wonder what their sound could have matured into.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 4

3 Star Rating

1. Spewing Innards
2. Necro Introvert Pesticide Injector
3. Fistula Bleeds
4. Foetal Embolism
5. Winter of Despair
6. It’s Too Late
7. Pain Hotel
8. Nustage
9. Fear of What Is

Karl Fowler - Drums
Mike Brown – Guitars, Vocals
David Camarda – Lead Guitar
Jason McCammon – Vocals, Bass

Record Label: La Caverna Records


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