Bleeding Fist – Death’s Old Stench (Moribund Records)Sunday, 16th February 2014
With the amount of evolution happening in the world of extreme and underground metal, there are always many who embrace the familiar and cherish the old, if well-worn sounds. The seemingly endless devotion to the played-out thrash revival of the last decade is a testament to that. With black metal we’ve witnessed some pretty big ventures into outside territory in the recent past, sometimes with great results, sometimes not so much. Sometimes knowing a “black metal” band is coming out of a certain borough in a certain large East Coast city is enough to take a pass before even taking a listen.
Enter Slovenia’s Bleeding Fist, who don’t suffer no hipster fools. Released by Moribund Records, whose motto is “Cold, Grim, Evil”, Death’s Old Stench is not a studio album, but a compilation of unreleased demos. True to the labels motto, my first takeaways from a listen to the release were “primitive, raw, evil.” Those are the three words I wrote at the top of my notebook, only later in the evening seeing the Moribund motto…true story.
So what do we have here? If you were not clued in to the relative newness of the band (who started in 2004) we have some tunes that sound like they could come out the early nineties. This is some old sounding Satanic black metal, complete with raw production values and nothing particularly out of the ordinary (except harmonica, of all things, in a few spots). At times, the dirty sounding guitar almost has an under-water sound, as if the basement in which these guys are recording is being flooded by a burst sewage pipe…well, maybe not that bad, but kinda. I needed to confirm that they do indeed play with a bass, as the mix is well, you know, “raw.”
In all, these are some decent tunes played by a decent band, but there isn’t any staying power to speak of. Not a bad release, and should be of interest to traditional black metal aficionados, at least to check it out and see what the hell is going on in Slovenia these days.