PUSTILENCE – The Birth Of The Beginning Before The Inception Of The End (2021)REVIEW

I really don’t listen to a lot of death metal unless one of my favorite bands has a new release I’ll go buy it, to support the scene, but I like Nile a lot, they were awesome to play with, and usually listen to a lot of older Metal or 80’s metal.” Dave Gregor, Katopetia Zine Issue #I, 1999

We’ve got a righteous pound of rotten mid-December leftovers to consider in view of a regretful rush out the door but thankfully self-released gems like that of Brisbane, Australia-borne ‘new old school’ death metal trio Pustilence are still getting picked up by labels seeking to disperse and legitimize their latent infection. Their first EP ‘The Birth of the Beginning Before the Inception of the End‘ isn’t the typical noob-whisperer caveman dunce cap wearin’ meme death you’re used to. These folks, who’re also partly responsible for Bone Marrow and Hinterkaifeck, have set a laser focus upon the quality of death metal circa 1994, citing Oppressor and Psychic Pawn for the sake of late to the party tech-mutation as well as groups like Morta Skuld, Banished and Gutted to embody the groove-a-holic tendencies of a world lit on fire by big-breaking bands like Obituary. The result is an album that tumbles into moderately complex death-thrashing riffs to start before spreading its glistening n’ sputtering intestinal tract across the steel table in a cryptic display of death metal dominance. The pressure is building in those guts from all of those namedrops so we can ultimately whittle the core appeal of this band down to something likely familiar to anyone who’d had their brains twiddled by Faceless Burial last year, and I say this just for the sake of marrying groove with thrashing intensity. Pustilence are a bit more rotten, a bit less brutal, and my first instinct was actually a few key records from 1991 when I’d approached this tape blind.

The corpse-ripping slap of opener “Gateways to Enigma” does ultimate speak to the meandering but brutal quality of the bands previously mentioned but I definitely felt like the root of these riffs is still arisen in appreciation of late 80’s death/thrash at least as often as it is bursting out in the name of peak USDM putridity, a necessary peak before brutality and technicality became an obsessive underground competition for the serious “arms-crossed” death metal circa 199X+5 paradigm. I don’t know how direct my rambling has been but the point is to suggest that riffs with a sharp balance of thrashing, mild technical feats, and heavy groove dominate this four song ~16 minute EP which was recorded and produced by the fellow from Snorlax/Descent, Brendan Auld. The riffs have me geared and making hog noises over this one but what really gets a ‘Screeee!‘ out of me this time around is the additional leads from their Bone Marrow bandmate Anthony Oxenbridge who is only going moderately over the top for early 90’s standards but we rarely get a set of wailers and dive-bombs like that outside of Santiago these days. Pustilence‘ve got a crunchy, appreciably heavy sound that catches my ear the second it hits. The riffs are pretty legitimate if not sometimes non-directional, it is just a matter of finding the moment to strike and make the groove count, otherwise (for a debut release) the spirit of the mid-90’s they’ve conjured hits upon the right stuff for my own taste. A high recommendation.

High recommendation. (79/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
TITLE:The Birth Of The Beginning Before The Inception Of The End
LABEL(S):Personal Records [CD]
Rotting Life [Cassette]
RELEASE DATE:March 5th, 2021
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp
GENRE(S):Death Metal

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