In Putrescence

I wasn’t sure what to think of this one upon the first spin and multiple spins later I still don’t know what to think, which translated means it’s just not very damn memorable. That’s a problem, unless you’ll all about meaningless musical experiences. That sounds pretty shitty of me, doesn’t it? Well friends, it sounds shittier than it is intended, simply because there is nothing patently wrong with Stench’s In Putrescence.

In the way of further translation, which is my way of beating around the bush so that it takes forever for you to locate the point of this review, In Putrescence is old school, stinky Swedish death metal with black metal shading that billows smoke and shoots flames, but never leaves much of a lasting impression. It is one of those albums that frustrates because it seems like it is one that should satisfy to a far greater extent because it doesn’t get bogged down in filler or sub-par material.

The problem is the dearth of material that exceeds international death metal standards of “par.” Micke’s vocals are phlegm-choked and screamy at once and the trio assaults with rip roaring guitars and a modicum of melody. Some cool buzz-sawing gallops pop up here and there as well, bolstered by meaty ‘n bubbling bass lines, as one will hear during sections of “The Fire.” That’s great stuff, no? Yes, yes it is.

It is not a matter of disliking a crusty blaster like “Face of Death” or an up-tempo groover like “Breath of the Rottenness,” the latter a highlight for the deft combo of melody and swing. Bloody hell, you’d find not a drunken soul who’d bitch about it blasting away at your local degenerate mixer. Rather, it is a matter of the occasional highlight not being enough to carry the weight of an album that defines “solid,” yet is destined to get passed over when more enticing titles are available for brain bashing. Considering the membership in the Stench clan includes a couple of dudes from the mighty Tribulation (tell me that The Horror didn’t put a boot right up your rear end and I’ll recommend a good psychiatrist for you) makes it even more a letdown.

What’s really bugging me now is that I still can’t determine the one primary element that is really keeping me from heaping more praise on this bugger, except for general statements about a lack of lasting songwriting appeal. A lame justification? You make the call…and I’ll still not rethink, retract, or rewrite it. Doesn’t that just suck?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
November 1st, 2010


  1. Commented by: Döden

    The problem is that you have not got the whole picture – the lyrical and visual aspects of In Putrescence are of equal importance as the music, and without each other the concept loses its strength. If you do not have the LP, visit and experience the complete artwork while listening to the record.

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