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Pulverizing Goregrind - 87%

orphy, December 1st, 2020
Written based on this version: 2016, 12" vinyl, Fat Ass Records (Limited edition)

Have you ever heard of the Canadian prairie city of Winnipeg? If you’re a fan of grindcore, there’s a good chance you’ve heard some bands from there. As a gateway between the Great Lakes region of the US and the rest of the Canadian prairies, it’s had a long history of music, especially when it comes to the more extreme sides of punk and metal. Putrescence were a long running band from the region, putting out several albums and splits before calling it a day in 2016 with the release of “Voiding upon the Pulverized.” The band couldn’t have gone out on a higher note, but it seems like a lot of people have missed the memo about how strong this record is.

This was Putrescence’s first release in four years, and their first full length in eight years. In the time between, their line up changed and they recruited two younger guitarists who have been active in many other bands, including Flash Out, Solanum, Archagathus, and Skunk. This youthful injection seemed to be exactly what the band needed. Throughout 24 minutes, they crank out riff after riff across the eleven songs on “Voiding upon the Pulverized.” There’s not really any surprises here considering it’s a fusion of goregrind and death metal – you got fast tremolo riffs, chunky mid-paced chugs, and blurry fast power chord madness. There are traces of early Carcass and Napalm Death present in these riffs, but they don’t make it obvious like a lot of other goregrind bands do. At times, it feels like a less blast-oriented Dead Infection, with the riffs just having so much mass, but drummer Cory Thomas switches up his beats often enough to keep things interesting.

Putrescence’s strength is in their dynamics. They don’t play anything unexpected, but they utilize a variety of feels, as mentioned with the drums and different types of riffs. They manage to create some pretty catchy moments, such as the fan favourite “Squeeze and Squint Until Your Eyes Water.” The simple, low tuned intro riff has an infectious groove to it, and gets stuck in my head quite easily. Further adding to the dynamics of this record is the the multi-vocal attack. Frontman Mike Alexander avoids the typical pitch shifter vocals, and delivers a relentless performance, but also lets his bandmates do some lines too. I believe both guitarists and the bassist all contribute their voices, as you’ll hear some different shrieks, growls, and screams throughout each song, sometimes layering them together as seen in songs like “Sad Sacks in Sad Sacks Cannot Relax.”

The recording of this album was handled by Dan Ryckman of Archagathus, who’s been perfecting his craft as an audio engineer for years, with many Winnipeg bands under his belt. His experience with goregrind and death metal is crucial on this recording, as the guitars have some weight, the bass’ distorted rumble can be easily felt, and the drums are fairly clear too. It feels slightly less polished than the previous “Sledgehammer Holocaust” album, but I honestly prefer the sound of this record.

It’s been bittersweet seeing Putrescence break up, as they were a big part of the Winnipeg scene, and they were always a blast to see whenever our paths crossed in the Canadian prairies. Members have moved onto other projects or focuses in life, but they left us with one last slab of disgusting goregrind before doing so. If you’re a fiend for both grindcore and death metal, “Voiding upon the Pulverized” has plenty to offer, and does so with absolutely no filler. Don’t miss out on the other bands that these guys are in now that I mentioned previously either, as they’re among some of Winnipeg’s finest.