Stench Price
Stench Price EP

Due to an unfortunate and excruciating ear infection that has had me uniaural for about three months I failed to write this review in a timely fashion, for which I must apologize to the band and the band’s guests. This EP deserved a timelier addressing.

Because, frankly, it smokes.

It does not smoke because it crams jazz interludes into the heavy grind it otherwise masterfully assembles. In fact, these distractions only serve to remind me of when adding a clean bit non-sequiturilly into a song was actually a new and exciting idea. Mr. Bungle and other Patton projects essentially opened and closed the book on out-of-hand interludes years ago. So hearing a modern grind project falling into this behavior is less exhilarating or amusing than distracting.

But smoke it does. And smoke it does because the actual grind parts of this grind album are madness inducing delights. This is pinball grind at its very ferociousest – when it is grinding. And it is grinding often enough to make this worth the distractions.

The band part of the band, consisting of Peter Shallmin (Kamlath) on bass, Max Konstantinov (Kamlath) on guitars and Romain Goulon (Necrophagist) on drums are in utter control of the chaos they weave. The songs are mid-length and the riffing and disassembling are both thrilling and fascinating to hear. The pedigree gives the brutal compositions a certain amount of tech/prog panache that helps raise the music above just chug and slam.

Which leads us to the other stellar aspect of this EP: the guest vocalists. Beginning with “Living Fumes”, featuring Brutal Truth’s Dan Lilker, who maintains a very true-to-roots vocal style to get the festivities off the ground, the band utilizes differing styles of throat-rakers to good – sometimes amazing – effect. Rogga Johnson (Paganizer) and Dave Ingram (Hail of Bullets) bring a traditional death/grind vocalizing style to their respective songs, with Ingram creating an almost Napalm Death tribute on “The Genocide Machine”.

Without question, the standout cut has to be “Pressure” featuring the nearly impossible vocals of Karina Utomo (High Tension). This track sees the band’s attempt to add jazzy, loungy music succeed in spectacular fashion, as the motif of the sound is actually built into the song instead of interrupting it. It creates a dance of happy violence that is truly disturbing and compelling.

The EP ends with “The Vitality Slip”, a massive interstate pileup of hardcore and grind driven by Shawn Knight’s (Child Bite) shouted rather than screamed or roared vocalizing. An extended jazz interlude notwithstanding, the cut is percussive and dangerous, sealing the record in a satisfying manner.

I recommend this EP to anyone who appreciates the brutality and artistry of techy, deathy grind, and while the distracting parts are just that, they move so quickly they can be easily forgiven. Or maybe you like that sort of thing, in which case, hey, this is the EP for you. Either way, this is a killer EP, and well worth grabbing.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris S
November 30th, 2016

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