Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 2/22/2005
posted on 2/2005 By:
Pungent Stench’s 1989 split with Disharmonic Orchestra was one of the first “extreme” LP’s I purchased, and the track “Rip You Without Care” still stands as one of my favorite grindcore songs of all time. So as the band developed to the landmark but restrained For God Your Soul…For me Your Flesh, and became far more groove based with the likes of Been Caught Buttering and Club Mondo Bizarro - For Members Only, there’s been one constant in the 15 year career of the these Austrian misanthropes; they remain humorously sick fucks. I mean how many other bands have an anthem ode to Lynndie England (she of the Abu Ghraib controversy)? None, but Pungent Stench open their latest opus with “Lynndie (She-Wolf of Abu Ghraib)”, and the album rollicks on from there with tongue embedded firmly in cheek throughout.
Admittedly not as savage or groundbreaking as they were 15 years ago, Pungent Stench have at least grown old with a certain level of putrid grace rather than try to redo themselves ill fittingly or fade into nothing. The now consistent, groove based, humor laden death metal that is Pungent Stench’s calling card is a welcome relief from the continual flood of blast obsessed tripe that crosses my desk. This is death metal I can actually tap my feet to without calf cramps. Although far from musically destructive, Pungent Stench still have a twisted sense of showmanship that compliments their sick humor - from the inlay art of various artistically portrayed amputees to tracks entitled “MILF” and “Same Shit-Different Asshole”. The basis of Pungent Stench is now carried on thick, almost blues/stoner based riffs with a level of catchiness not heard since Necrotism. It’s hardly that classic, but it’s the same feel. Schirenc and co have smartly cultivated their sound into something, that amid today’s ADD death metal, actually has some character to it - what a reversal from 15 years ago.
The album at hand is pretty much a continuation of their last album, Masters Of Moral, Servants Of Sin; self deprecatingly mid-paced and as chunky as an Anna Nicole Smith purging. Ampeauty is more about undulating grooves than blast beats or staccato whirlwind solos, the control may seem timid to those gleaned on the likes of Decrepit Birth or Origin, but the actual, decipherable riffs and pacing make for a head bobbing, smile inducing nostalgic listen. The few token, more urgent but still listenable tempos (“The Passion of Lucifer”, “Same Shit-Different Asshole”) seem slightly redundant in light of modern death metal’s savage proficiency, and The Stench are now far more comfortable when laid back into the comical, cow bell laced leanings of “MILF” (“I Like my women wrinkled, fat and semen sprinkled”) or rolling dirges of “Human Garbage”.
Lyrically, the thing that strikes me about Pungent Stench’s toilet humor, is that it never comes across as forced or over the top offensive. It seems disturbingly first hand and natural, rather than B-Movie or over done. The music is the same; nothing is forced or delivered with false pretenses of brutality, Pungent Stench are what they are. And they are “Fear the Grand Inquisitor”, the album’s 8 minute closer.
Granted, Ampeauty isn’t going to garner a huge amount of praise or change the genre, that’s what bands like Mastodon and Nile are for. Pungent Stench is for smoking a fattie and watching Necromantik over and over again.
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