Saturday, 30 June 2012

PUNGENT STENCH - For God Your Soul...For Me Your Flesh (1990)

01  Intro / Extreme Deformity
02  Hypnos
03  For God Your Soul... for Me Your Flesh
04  Just Let Me Rot
05  Pungent Stench
06  Bonesawer
07  Embalmed in Sulphuric Acid
08  Blood, Pus and Gastric Juice
09  Suspended Animation
10  A Small Lunch

'For God Your Soul... For Me Your Flesh' is the debut album of the Austrian death metal band Pungent Stench. It was originally released in 1990 on Nuclear Blast. The original CD pressing came with ten bonus tracks off a split LP with Disharmonic Orchestra and the the band's own 'Extreme Deformity' EP. Pungent Stench was a darkly humorous death metal band from Vienna, which formed in 1988. Their last known lineup consists of Martin Schirenc (vocals/guitar), El Gore (bass), and Alex Wank (drums). They dissolved in 1995, re-formed in 1999, then split up for good in 2007, after recording a final studio album which has yet to be released.

Unfortunately there's a few completely different versions of this the album floating around. Got the CD with the fat people in gas masks? Well, tough luck, because that means you only have little more than half the original album and sadly that's the far most wide-spread version of the record. I don't know whether this was the band's idea or the idea of Nuclear Blast, either way I just can't fathom what went through their minds. The band re-recorded the first half for a re-issue, but decided to leave off the other bonus tracks. It's usually done the other way around, with the re-issue usually having the bonus tracks, not just the initial release. Why would anyone want to buy a re-issue if it not only doesn't include half the original album, but doesn't even have any of the bonus tracks either!?

One thing about Pungent Stench that is really intriguing is the lack of any kind of melody or technical proficiency. This album is just raw and aggressive, but at the same time highly memorable. The simplicity of songs like "A Small Lunch" and "Blood, Pus and Gastric Juice" are perfect reminders as to why primitive, early death metal is indeed the best way to make this kind of music. Both songs feature a great mix of the slower and near sludge sounding chords and riffs with some brilliant heavy riffs, while also giving the bassist a chance to show off his skills and add some serious low end heaviness.

'For God Your Soul…For Me Your Flesh' is a raw deal. So, there's no catchy melodies to be found here, no overly complicated soloing just pure visceral grotesqueries with raw riffs and some terrifying sixteenths crashing down with primitive fury under doomy bass tones. If you like your death metal raw, dirty, yet somehow catchy, this is a good starting point on your introduction to Pungent Stench. Later, they would experiment with even more demented lyrics, but as first albums go, this one is pretty solid – definitely no masterpiece, just not yet up to par with where the band would eventually go with their music.

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