Foetal Juice – Gluttony Review

Sometimes I wonder how much bigger metal would be if more people were to give it an honest chance. Most people are put off by the surface-level noisiness of the music and its inherent aggression, without realizing its cathartic value. In this video, an incredibly posh man goes to a death metal concert with a bunch of blokes from Manchester. He emerges on the other side with a whole new understanding of how much of a primal release metal is to us. And what better subgenre to demonstrate the exorcistic qualities we enjoy than old school death metal? The blokes dragging this incredibly posh man along are in a band called Foetal Juice, and old school death metal is exactly what they play. With all the energy of a slaughterhouse sequel on adderall and such enigmatic song titles as “Albert Grindstein” and “Gin’ll Fix It” in their discography, the quartet is primed to take the world by storm with sophomore album Gluttony.

Foetal Juice take no prisoners with the opener, the poetically titled “Take Your Face For A Shit.” Bludgeoning buzzsaw guitars mingle with highly energetic drumming with a D-beat slant. The riffs are no less frantic than the pounding handed to the skins, and the duelling vocals exchange a monstrous growl with a throat-ripping snarl, both executed to grimy perfection. The layer of slime is deepened in delicious derangement by the fat, throbbing bass, playing the starring role of jellifying your insides. The whole is pitch-perfect Floridian death metal with occasional Scandinavian flairs, with Fischer-era Cannibal Corpse the main point of comparison. The fun continues as the album goes on, through the vicious “Metamorphosis,” the mercilessly bludgeoning “Worthless Delusion,” that deliciously rising riff of “Antagonistic Bastard,” the choppy upbeat triplets of the title track and the stop-burst patterns of closer “Spirit Leech.”

Though the pacing is frequently high and the instruments sound deliciously grimy, the performances are sharp like a newly honed table saw, slicing up limbs with terrifying ease. The drumming is quite dynamic, switching up through different types of rhythms rather than unending straight blasting. The only downside to Gluttony is its inherent familiarity. There’s not much new about what is being done here; the basics of this sound have been repeatedly tried and tested for several decades without major changes, so it’s not much we haven’t heard before. But it must be said, it is rare for a genre this ingrained to be played straight with such eagerness and unrelenting energy, and that alone puts Foetal Juice ahead of the pack.

Since so many death metal bands do production so poorly, this is usually the “but sadly” section. Not for Foetal Juice. The production is rich, crisp, as fat and meaty as the pig lord thing on the cover, and quite possibly the best thing about this album full of good things. The guitars have a pitch perfect buzz, snarling with an electrical fire. The vocals are mixed prominent but not overbearing, while the drums sound rich and natural and hit with the force of a concrete hurricane. The thing that really makes me swoon, though, is the morbidly obese bass that rumbles and slithers underneath the more obvious violence of the riffs, making for an experience as erotic as it is disgusting.

The late great reviewer Roger Ebert famously said: “It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it’s about it.” To an extent, the same goes for music. Foetal Juice is hardly original, following a template laid down by Cannibal Corpse and others ages ago. But with their unstoppable energy, addictive riffs, dynamic drumming, cheeky sense of raunchy revelry and utterly fucking superior production, Foetal Juice are the Mancunian candidates for old school death metal champions of the year.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Gore House Productions
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: June 12th, 2020

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