Cleveland, Ohio’s restless cancer spreader, Fistula is hot again in underground music news. After releasing three albums in 2008, two of which (Lessons in Lamentation and Inverted Black Star) are nothing short of noisy Sludge odysseys, and releasing tons of EPs and splits, Fistula’s long-awaited sixth full-length album, Vermin Prolificus, is finally out. To many, Fistula’s music is very hard to get involved with. Dirty, harsh and chunky tunes that don’t fit in every person’s body and soul and they (mainly Corey Bing who has carried the torch throughout all these years) have kept it ever since their days of formation back in 1998 and years later with their 2001’s soul-vomiting debut album “Hymns of Slumber”. Now, Fistula has a new album on the counter and with “Vermin Prolificus”, “Sick Heavy Sh*t!” has found a new meaning!
Despite Fistula’s 2008 albums all being an hour-long records, Vermin Prolificus is shorter, containing 7 tracks of crushing hateful hymns, spanning up to 35 minutes. Vermin Prolificus’ album cover is well illustrated and its filthiness takes the listener to the tombs surrounded by serpents and rats, to the throne of cannibal bishop and disembodied crucified woman. With a brief, bitter humor lying underneath its image, the album cover is Verminous and prolific enough to handle the name of Vermin Prolificus, explaining its rotting and depraving sound. This (bitter) humor is still going on while the first and the opener song of the album “Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails” is coming around. This 5 minutes song is so famous right now that it is called “Mom, Dad, Marty! The Drugs Are More Important Than You!” with a voice of a girl, which is sampled and used in the song, repeating these words. “Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails” is an utterly brilliant yet neck-wrecking grand opener, with thick bass line and guitar riffs, throwing the poor listener into the dark and wicked spiral, dragging it down to the reworked version of the grinder “Harmful Situation” taken from their 2012’s EP “Northern Aggression”. Vermin’s “Harmful Situation” sounds slightly different from the original one, and is more in-the-face than the opener song.
Slow-paced heavy “Pig Funeral” brings down the tempo of the album. Song’s main riff is repeating through more than the half of it and makes it sound a bit boring. But this song has been split into two parts, while the first part is constructed on some slow and weary guitar riffs, the second and the faster part of the song comes up, surviving the rest, bringing back the energy and changes the tempo to a more thrashy than a chaotic grindcore parts, all of a sudden makes “Pig Funeral” an absolute winner. “Sobriety” the shortest song of the album represents Fistula’s thirst, focusing on more attacking straight-to-the-heart hardcore punk mixed up with crusty power violence, which is a reminder of some tunes from Trap Them to Nails. “Upside Down” has the power of “Sobriety”, representing sludgy Fistula with more concentration on diverse drum parts merged with bulky guitar riffs. The thirteen minutes long “Interlude” yet to be called as the album’s title track, is an atmospheric cinematic song, projects Fistula’s poisonous skill to write a song that has an enormous ability to take you on a hypnotic journey to the endless void of drugs and religion. Play this damned song as loud as you can and you’ll be saying to yourself: “This song is so dangerous!” because of the absolute killer bass lines, played by Sean Linehan. If “Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails” is a grand opener, without any doubt “Goat Brothel” is a grand closer, leaving your soul in unrest and tears your flesh apart with a one minute and forty-two seconds of pure slaughtering thrashed-up beats.
“Vermin Prolificus” is marked as Dan Harrington first serious attempt on vocals duty after Fistula’s 2013’s split with Radiation Sickness, where he has done his job perfectly on both releases, along with Corey Bing, the main man and the torch-bearer who brings the sickest and heaviest sludgy guitar riffs. Shoulder to shoulder with 2008’s “Burdened by Your Existence”, “Vermin Prolificus” is Fistula’s best and strongest effort, which may sound a bit distracted in a few levels because of its short length but it seems it’s nothing too serious for Fistula who knows how to wrap up a short but thick album with a maximum degree of choking violence and depravity. “Fistula is more important than many other Sludge/Doom Metal bands” these days and they have to know it and surely they do.
Words by: Arash Khosronejad | Twitter: @arashkh
Label: Patac Records
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 09/15/2014
Band info: Facebook