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Death Congeals All Wounds: Fetid-Steeping Corporeal Mess Review

The trio's long anticipated debut is vile and ready to bury you in the primordial ooze.

Photograph by Crystal Seth

Let me ask this question right out of the gate: What exactly is brewing in the mists and fog of the Pacific Northwest? How is it that this scene is continually putting out such massive releases again and again? We may never know the answer, but I can fully tell you now that Portland's FETID have decided to throw one more Molotov into the crowd before bolting, wraithlike into the night. Steeping Corporeal Mess may have a title that reeks of death metal tropes but I can firmly say that this album is no trope. It is the real fucking deal.

The 2010's have seen an explosion of bands trying to emulate all corners of the death metal spectrum from the Florida and Swedish scenes to now emulating the Finnish and New York scenes. FETID operate on the fringe of all of this. Whereas other groups tend to find solace amongst their copies of Slaughter of the Soul, Blessed Are the Sick and Horrified, the FETID crew take pleasure and an almost sensual desire to bathe and writhe in filth and disgust. When I mention classic albums like Mental Funeral, Iniquitous, Symphonies of Sickness, To The Depths and modern classics like Misantropologi, Desolate Endscape, and Circle of Death, you will have a pretty damn good reference for what drummer/vocalist Julian Rhea, bassist Chelsea Loh and guitarist Clyle Lindstrom are preparing you for.

With nauseating feedback and a chilling squall of noise, Reeking Within drapes you in slimy garment and prepares you for the grand performance in the Court of the Cockroach King. It's a gruesome feeling, but somehow you feel welcome amidst the decay and putridity. The riffs throughout recall Rottrevore in the vacuum of hell. Suffocating audible basslines cut through Cranial Liquescent like knives through tender weakling flesh. It isn't very hard to nail the band's formula and penchant for grime yet it never wearies the listener.

Even though the album has only five tracks after a two year wait between this and the highly sought after Sentient Pile of Amorphous Rot demo, some may argue that this could be lazy of the group whereas I simply give a hearty middle finger salute. If you really have an issue with how short the album is, you clearly don't understand the concept of quality over quantity. FETID could have added two or three more songs, but I feel then that it would come off as forced and inorganic. The band get in and get out with as many shotgun blasted heads and Sicilian neck tied throats as possible. But then again, they also probably made blood angels while feeding their pet centipedes the grey matter splattered across the room and fill goblets of blood for copious consumption. It's tight and it's not here to fool around. If you want it any other way, take your poser ass and leave the hall.

Consumed Periphery will stand as one of the most insanely heavy yet sickeningly catchy songs of 2019. Imagine CARCASS jamming on an UNDERGANG tune circa Døden Læger Alle Sår and you have a fair approximation of the brutality in store. Dripping Subtepidity and closer Draped In What Was are the Rocky Balboa sized haymakers that will separate the wheat from the tares. If you thought the previous three tracks were too much to venture no further, you ain't ready for this yet. Sonic bludgeoning begins with Rhea's vocals continuing to be a major highlight as he gurgles with vigor and sheer determination these pus ridden incantations. Draped In What Was may be one of the heftiest songs I've heard in YEARS. Yes, in the same decade that has gifted us with so many future classic death metal tracks this one stands headlong and may end up being one of my favorite tracks of the year.

Steeping Corporeal Mess is an album that leaves you wanting more in the best way possible. It doesn't get flowery even for a cavernous death metal album and will bowl over most other debuts this year. It'll be pretty tough for any other band from anywhere, especially the PNW, to outdo what FETID have slapped into our laps like a decapitated rams head. The sheer gleeful excitement one feels while entrenched in this effort will be gifted with the most blissful of bloodshowers you could possibly ask for.

FFO: Autopsy, Rottrevore, Undergang, Carcass, Funebrarum and Carcass.

Steeping Corporeal Mess is out June 7 via 20 Buck Spin. Pre-order yours HERE.

Cover art by Daniel Hermosilla


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