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Sickening, disgusting, demented, BRILLIANT! - 90%

SoulCancer, September 24th, 2009

With Been Caught Buttering, Pungent Stench’s second full-length offering, they’ve upped the ante from their excellent debut (”For God Your Soul… For Me Your Flesh and come up with something in the style of their last album, while adding some interesting little flairs and details.

The first thing anyone would notice about this album is the cover art: namely two dismembered male heads with their lips interlocked in a kiss. Seeing this, you get a general idea as to what you’re in for: sick, demented and brutal old-school death metal, with lots of references to the bizarre and disturbing.

It must be said that the production between this and For God Your Soul… For Me Your Flesh is night and day. While the production is still somewhat raw, muddy and dirty, the instrumentation can be heard a bit better than before. The vocals, guitars, bass and drums seem very equal in the mix, allowing the listener to wrap their head around the chaos a bit more easily.

Opener “Shrunken and Mummified Bitch” starts off with the usual fair that fans had been used to with their previous record, with perhaps a bit more technicality (the starts, stops and drum fills are much more apparent) and lyrics that seem a bit more horrid than their last time out.

As was mentioned, there are some flourishes of experimental bits we hadn’t heard from Pungent Stench yet. This makes it even more interesting to the listener and makes them stand out a tad bit more from their peers (at the time) on Nuclear Blast Records.

For example, in Happy Re-Birthday, we’re treated to a Black Sabbath-styled interlude 2:08 to 2:48, which wouldn’t sound too out of place on the likes of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Games of Humiliation treats us to some moments of doom-like death metal, and from 4:10 to the end of the song we are treated to Martin grunting, laughing and making other generally maniacal sounds over a lush, beautiful acoustic guitar and (I shit you not) what sounds to be windchimes!

There are, of course, some fast, almost thrash-like burners here, such as S.M.A.S.H. and Brainpan Blues, among others. And proving that they could challenge any contender to the “slow and heavy” routine is evident in the first four minutes and twenty-eight seconds. And finally, possibly one of their most demented lead fills can be found in the final track, Splatterday Night Fever. It’s almost like a death metal interpretation of the theme from The Twilight Zone when you hear it. And it’s a fucking addictive riff!

The thing that holds your attention is the flow, and how it is so easily disrupted – like a sleight of hand before you realize it, leaving you content with where the songs went. And overall, this album has a better flow than anything in their first four albums.

Lyrically, the subjects at hand got infinitely more sick and obscene. Topics include a protagonist carving open his mother, so he can crawl in and be reborn, extreme sadomasochism (to the point of being nearly unfathomable), serial murder for the simple reason of eating brains, merciless undead creatures, cannibalism and an STD that does awful things to you: pus from the dick? This hurts just thinking about it!

If you’re given an option, I would advise this album be your first exposure to Pungent Stench: it’s very listenable, it’s disgusting in many ways and will give you a crash course in the depraved world that these demented Austrians fantasize of. This is a true underground death metal classic from a band that didn’t get the attention it deserved: this was one of the highlights of Nuclear Blast in the early 90s!