It’s been years since their last full length, but Fistula hasn’t kept quiet. They’ve pumped out an impressive number of splits and EPs over the past five years and in the process evolved in to one of the sickest, meanest bands out there. Their latest EP, Northern Aggression, is no exception, as it sees the band scrape even further down the bottom of the gutter sludge bowl for another mighty release. They dosed the scummy punk and grind influence so prominent on Goat and We, the Beast has been ratcheted up even further and the result is positively toxic. Northern Aggression is indisputably some of the nastiest sludge in recent memory.
Fistula hearken back to the glory days of Grief, Buzzov*en, and Eyehategod, when sludge was synonymous with crime, misery, and substance abuse. They churn the classic influences through a grind/punk keef screen and come out sounding unhinged and surprisingly infectious. Corey Bing’s lacerated vocal cords exclaim “I’m gonna get fucked up today!” as the solidified three piece blasts through opener “Sobriety is Overrated”. Catchy like hep c on a dirty set of works, you’ll be screaming “Pills! Drink! Toke!” alongside him after a couple of listens. Nate Linehan’s ripping blast beats churn along some grinding riffs and some sharp shifts to down tempo sludge on “Lightbulb Smoker” and “Kanker Nose”. Meanwhile they throwback to their Idiopathic days of churning mid tempo riffs on “The Fang” and finish with some stomping punk.
The production is ensconced in a tomb of mud and is grimy as hell. Bing’s guitar tone is caked with dirt, the bass is a grind-like jarring tangle, and the chugging moments are swamped in a distorted buzz. The vocals are prominent in the mix and are barked out with conviction and a surprising clarity. This is quintessential sludge right here. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the classic metal low-life, all iron veins and raging criminality, nothing but contempt and hostility for anyone and everything. If you love your metal dirty and aggressive, it’s impossible to recommend this enough.[Visit the band's website]