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Nightmare physicians - 85%

gasmask_colostomy, November 14th, 2020

These 4 French death grinders know their trade extremely well. Opening with ‘Autopsy’, a vividly sampled track with calm yet chilling narration from a mortician, the horrors of the human body are laid bare. This is not only another sick grind release though: Putrid Offal have lurked in the underground since 1991, splitting up and reforming without releasing a full-length of new material, and now cough up a cracking release based on Andreas Vesalius’s 16th century medical book Anatomica Fabrica. From the deep roars and sick, puking growls laid down by Franck Pieffer and a handful of guests to the ferocious riffing and dynamic changes of pace, Sicknesses Obsessions justifies the 3 decades of incubation.

Though slightly hinted at on a series of early splits and more recent re-recordings, Putrid Offal have really honed their musical style to an art form. Frantic blasting hammers through songs like ‘A Rot’s Caress’ and ‘Pallor Mortis’, yet the surprise use of operatic female vocals on ‘Glorify Me’ and ‘Viscera’ proves the depth of the quartet’s knowledge of pathology in aligning Enlightenment medicine with religious transgression. All the same, the wicked momentum of ‘Let There Be Rot’ and ‘Charnel House’ can’t be discounted either. Perhaps bound to be aligned with the Carcass school that includes General Surgery et al, Sicknesses Obsessions really merits wider listening, even beyond the Agathocles and Pungent Stench influences that birthed the band. After listening to such a thorough 35 minute sermon on the human body told through the art of deathly grind, one might even wonder if Putrid Offal were nightmare physicians in a former life.

Originally written for Metalegion #7 -