The Grotesque Arena EP

Feculent is an Australian death metal band and The Grotesque Arena ep is their first release.  4 dudes who go by initials trying to make their mark in our over-congested death metal scene.  6 songs in 19 minutes on the ever expanding Caligari Records out of Florida.

“The Grotesque Arena: Upon Splintered Bone” opens the EP, as the longest song, just a tad over 4 minutes.  Starting with some low feedback and then into a blistering old school fast death thrashing beat, that screams of Embalmer-not quite blasting, but just a smidge under a blast beat.  Then right into a mid-paced rumbling heaviness and excellent double bass, which sounds excellent.  Vocals are deep and throaty.  The song eventually meanders into a doomy, Autopsy laden moment which is quite memorable and super heavy.

“Host Consumed” has a nice jumpy start with a killer bass undercarriage of heaviness to it, then back into that fast death thrashing beat, then back to a slower moment.  It’s heavy and the fast part returns and is great.  Excellent guitar riffing over the fast part and then the isolated guitar moment with the growls and the disgusting gurgly growls is a great moment.  The jumpy beginning returns to end the song and tie it together in a perfect noose for ya.  “Beneath Bedlam” has a real dirty opening isolated guitar riff and then the thunderous drums come in and I’m like here comes a killer doom death song.  Slow and brooding the song is deliberate in its approach as the fast riffing over the slow speed creates an epic atmosphere in only 3 minutes.  Pained and agonizing vocals enter the picture and the bass swoops in for the kill and this song has a massive sound.  Crank this shit on a killer sound system and you will hear massive crumbling heaviness.

“The Grotesque Arena II: A Perverse Spectical” ends the ep with more death thrashiness madness and super heavy guitars.  Again the band never going full on blast mode, which I think maybe they should have filled a few sections in with those.  The reason for me saying this is when you get into that fast death/thrash speed, it screams for a blast beat, because of how fast the guitar riffing is.  The song slows down and is plodding and the death doom moments are excellent.  The other songs are great and the band is not shy to throw around a few 90’s era squealing pinch harmonics every now and again.

Feculent is a good up and coming young death metal band.  The Grotesque Arena is a nice start to their career.  I would not mind a few blasts thrown in now and again, however, the blending of doom with their speedier moments all flow nicely.  The blasts would somewhat break up a bit of the monotony of that death thrashy speed.   They are adept as musicians and I enjoy the vocal delivery quite a bit.  Give the band a chance – it’s nice and heavy and goes perfectly alongside your cup of coffee and morning oatmeal.  Cheers and welcome to the scene Feculent.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
May 14th, 2021


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