If you’ve ever had a nasty scab that just wouldn’t fall off and wondered what lurked underneath, it was Cemetery Lust, the audio equivalent of gangrene, sepsis, piss and pus. This infectious throwback thrash crew last tested the strength of my immune system with 2014s Orgies of Abomination, and to this day I’ve yet to scrape off all the ooze and offal spewed by that piece of nastiness. Four years later, they recur with the charmingly titled, Rotting in Piss, and all pathogens are once again airborne, this time with a hint of asbestos for extra lung fun. Cemetery Lust rob the vaults of Desaster and Toxic Holocaust for inspiration, who themselves robbed the crypts of early acts like Necrophagia and Sacrophago. That means the end product is a moldy, decayed kind of evil, pre-black metal demon thrash, and it can still scar the unprepared listener. And believe me, these crusty fiends aim to hurt you for all 33 minutes of their Reign in Filth attack.
This is one of those “speed for its own sake” kind of albums, running amok like one of the infected from 28 Days Later. Tools like nuance, tact and polish lay gathering dust in the rack, unused and forgotten. It’s musical rabies with less high level reasoning and planning, and as such it holds a certain brutish amusement factor. Opener “Midnight Invasion” rips and tears like everything the band ever did (and just like Toxic Holocaust does), and the frantic, hysterical riffs are well paired with the maniacal, unhinged rants of Andrew Angeldust. The band’s sloppy, unrefined style suits the deviant shit-core and its cartoony evil atmosphere. “Piss on Your Grave” grinds at a slightly slower tempo, while staccato shouted vocals hammer away at you, and it works in rudimentary, blunt force kind of way. By the third cut though, things already start to bleed together in a thick gooey mass, making it seem like one long blast attack.
Tracks like “Fatal Infestation” and Funeral Home Massacre” feel more forced and by-the-numbers, over-the-top and silly rather than heavy and scary, but cuts like “Bowels of Blasphemy” and especially closer, “Awaiting Execution” redeem things somewhat, especially thanks to the latter’s Bolt Thrower flavored riffage.
This is soupy, noxious kind of recording, at times sounding like a collection of filing cabinets crashing down steep metal stairs. That’s part of the appeal but it also limits how high the material can rise. Sadly, the riffs are less infectious this time out compared to Orgies of Abomination. Crystal Seth (best name ever) has a decent ear for old timey guitar lines, and though the leads sound more like recycled Slayer-isms, he almost makes up for it with his retro solos, which take me back to the salad days of Possessed and timeless classics like Seven Churches. They have that same theatrical, soundtrack-like style, as if they were created for some Grade Z Italian splatter film and they hit the spot. The vocals of Mr. Angeldust are certainly an acquired taste, and much like with Herpes, if you get it, you keep it. He certainly throws himself into his work with a collection of howls, grunts, shrieks and gurgles. What he lacks in ability, he makes up for in deranged exuberance.
Rotten in Piss is exactly what the cover suggests it will be. Nasty, vile crap flung at you like so much monkey feces at the zoo. If it hits you, you question why you paid for the privilege, but by then it’s too late. If you need a dose of caustic biohazard thrash and aren’t too discerning, Cemetery Lust will sign your discharge papers and induct you into Scabitat for Humanity. Just be prepared for low-fi sensibilities, enforced quarantine and having your clothes laundered in an autoclave. Skeevy.