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Bleh - 50%

Immune_to_Poison, March 2nd, 2011

I tell you, it very seldom occurs that an album's booklet is a greater draw than the album itself, but here we are. Fuck it, I have to get this out of the way first and foremost. Ampeauty has the most interesting album booklet I've ever seen by a long shot. In line with Ampeauty's theme, we're treated to a plethora of photographs depicting pretty girls in prurient poses, all of whom happen to be less a limb or two. Complimenting them are lascivious props, including crutches, wheelchairs, prosthetics, and, of course, sex toys, the cornerstone of any seedy photo shoot. I'm not even gonna lie, they're a turn on. I don't know what it is, but there's something about an amputee with a really nice ass. Although the pictures could be considered exploitative in some circles, I for one applaud these women for having the courage to be sexy in spite of their diminished anatomy. I only wish I could applaud Pungent Stench the same.

"Lyndie (She-Wolf of Abu Ghraib)" is such a strong opener. From the triumphant, chest thumping drum intro to the serpentine riff of the hook to the grotesque subject matter, this is a Pungent Stench classic. Leave it to Stench to pen a song about Lynndie England's little Iraqi sex romp. What I especially enjoy about the song is that it's presented with the same sadistic grin that Lynndie so proudly beared in her incriminating photographs. I like that. It's not easy to convey sociopathy through song, but Stench did it, owing mostly to that gem of a guitar riff that unabashedly careens its way in and out of the arrangement. Such an ambitious exposition, in lieu of forshadowing another incredible death metal album like Been Caught Buttering or Masters of Moral, Servants of Sin, only set the stage for a disappointment.

The rest of Ampeauty is pretty wooden, barring its conclusion. From "Invisible Empire" on, Stench all but abandons the sadistic overtone of "Lyndie (She-Wolf of Abu Ghraib)", replacing it with a more heavy rock'n'roll oriented mindset, a la Club Mondo Bizarre, which is an album that I could live without ever hearing again in my life. Ampeauty's closer, "Fear the Grand Inquisitor" is like a bookend, being the only track on the album that matches the quality of its opener. I've always found the Spanish Inquisition to be a morbidly fascinating relic of Catholicism, if only because of the juxtaposition of God and burning people alive. Catering to my interest, "Fear the Grand Inquisitor" gets my imagination going with its brackish riffs and especially its ending section, which is replete with the tortured screams of the condemned, to which their condemnors are of course indifferent. Badass. Again, the remainder of Ampeauty ranges from subpar to satisfactory. There's too much lightheartedness and not enough heartlessness, if you will. I don't think it's a coincidence that the two best songs are the only ones that are based on real life events. It's simple. If it's real, it's more frightening. For all of Stench's pontifications regarding their kinky amputee fetishism, their glorification of body integrity identity disorder, their beloved milfs, it still reeks of fiction. Truth isn't always stranger than fiction, but it is immutably scarier.

When all is said and done, Ampeauty is marginally enjoyable at times, but can't wriggle its way out of the the black hole of mediocrity. Nor can it abscond from being an abdication, a letdown from the quality of previous works. Honestly though, if there was ever an album that's worth buying for the artwork alone, this is it.

Ouch, even the lyrics and artwork can’t save this - 40%

morbert, August 7th, 2008

I had high hopes, such high hopes, when Pungent Stench came together. And when they released “Masters Of Moral, Servants Of Sin” my hopes became truth! That was the best album since “Been Caught Buttering”!

But... just like “Club Mondo Bizarre” was a very disappointing follow up to their masterpiece “Been Caught Buttering”, “Ampeauty ” is the disaster that comes after the majestic “Masters Of Moral”

Now the strength of Pungent Stench always lay in three important elements:
- fast death metal
- Groovy and/or sludgy doom
- Sick (in a humurous way) lyrics
Points is that if you leave one of the key elements away, the whole concept simply falls apart. Just groove? That was “Club Mondo Bizarre”. That became very monotone. And they now made exactly the same mistake. They left out the furious death metal.

Now it could still have been a good album if the songs themselves were memorable in a “Games Of Humiliation” , “Viva La Muerte”, “A Small Lunch” or even “Klyster Boogie” kind of way. But they aren’t! The album is mostly mid- and slow paced and the riffs and performance sound tired. Most songs are over stretched.

There are however two very briliant aspects of this album:
1- The artwork
2- The lyrics

The artwork is beautiful. Beautiful in a way only Pungent Stench could do. I leave it up to you all to discover it! Same goes for the lyrics, which are stellar! You can’t go wrong with “Lynndie (She-Wolf Of Abu Ghraib)” or “Got M.I.L.F.”

The artwork was briliant, the lyrics a few of their best, So why on earth waste it on such bland dull songs!?! After hearing this album I’m actually glad the band broke up… So they can reform again in a few years and do something wonderfull again like “Masters Of Moral” (I think another Been Caught Buttering is highly improbable..).

The "real" comeback Album ! - 90%

GulLemec, December 6th, 2004

This is a review I originally did for the Demonized Blessing Magazine (http://demonized.cjb.net)

Pungent Stench are back with a vengeance with their anticipated 2nd album after the reunion in 2001 called "Ampeauty", a superb wordplay with Amputee and beauty and that's what the lyrics are about.

The entire album turns out to be as groovy and rocking as hell and also the production fits the music best which is a very good change after the rather clean and over-polished recording of the predecessor "Masters of Moral - Servants of Sin". Fat guitars, a groovy bass and a very authentic drum sound makes the overall sound outstanding. Martin Schirenc has delivered very good work in his Vato Loco studio (actually his home-studio in his sleeping room), but if you know the Hollenthon-albums, which also have been produced in this studio, you know that Martin really has a feeling for creating a sound like this. The bass lines on this albums have also been recorded by Martin, the new bass player (Fabio Testi) is not to be heard on this recording, but he already is playing the live shows. The "smash hit" on the album is without doubt "The Amp Hymn", a song about certain people with a passion for amputees. Just have a look at the first lines of the lyrics which are like this: "I wanna make that very clear, I love the handicapped. I love the chicks with no more limbs, wheelchair trapped. I love those stumps and I love those stubs, they totally turn me on. I wanna fuck those lovely amps. You better take it off, those artificial limbs, and sing with me this song, it's the amp hymn."

The lyrics deal with topics like abuse of prisoners (Lynndie), freemasonry (invisible empire), anti-christianity (the passion of Lucifer) over bukkake (got milf ?), human garbage to peoples's passion to get themselves healthy extremities amputated, and are not to be taken very serious anyway.

Most of the songs are in mid-tempo with some faster parts and even slower interludes and also denoted blast-beats here and there and ALL songs are groovy as hell with a slight doom influence and kick ass with their choruses to which you can already sing-a-long the second time.

All the girl's representations in the booklet are real and not edited afterwards by the way. (female amputees with some toys, what else did you expect ?). Pungent Stench is definitely back stronger than ever with this groovy, ass-kicking release full of sick and ironic lyrics.
- If I wouldn't know that the boys could even do better (maybe on the next effort), I would have given the full score. Consider this one as the "real" comeback album from Pungent Stench. If you like to headbang, to rock and don't care about groove and some doom influences, go and get "Ampeauty" now.