Fistula – Vermin Prolificus (2014)

I’ve really been jamming the guts out of this album for the last few weeks. Fistula mix sludgy, messy doom a la Eyehategod with elements of crust and hardcore punk. I personally think that any genre of metal can be vastly improved by adding musical elements of (or just the spirit of) crust punk (Darkthrone’s The Cult Is Alive being a prime example; a vicious bastard of an album that followed a long string of tired recordings, ironically containing zero amounts of crust punk).

Fistula resembles the haunting downtuned bogscapes of Lines In Wax favourites Dragged Into Sunlight with their repetitive, sinister riffs accompanying long, eery passages of sampled vocal monologue usually revolving around drugs, drug abuse and the problem with cops (boy, can’t we all relate to that one). If I had to sum up sludge in one song to an ‘outsider’, opening track “Smoke Cat Hair and Toe Nails” couldn’t go far wrong as a perfect example. The opening riff just melts my face every single time – it’s just so nasty.

“Pig Funeral” is probably the highlight of the record for me; a seething upbeat hate anthem towards the powers that be, that slows down to a chug for more horrendous sampling to unfold. I’m digging this template – fast songs and nasty slow passages accompanied by samples. Bonza! “Interlude” takes this sampling-feast to the very edges of sanity; droning on and on and on before “Goat Brothel” caps off the entire thing like a shotgun blast to the forehead; effectively putting you out of your sludgy misery with a dose of punk attack.

Brilliant.