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Feculent – The Grotesque Arena – Album Review


Feculent hail from Brisbane, Australia and are somewhat of an Australian death metal supergroup, with the four members also plying their trade in Snorlax, Resin Tomb, Shackles, Idle Ruin and Descent, among others. As is evident, there’s a wealth of experience and talent in gut-wrenchingly horrific brutal death metal on display here and, my oh my, does this savage little album demonstrate that!

After a short intro, the listener is treated to 6 unrelentingly nasty tracks of vicious, evil intent. In other words, death metal at its most brutal. Featuring multiple time changes, blast beats, crushing guitars and deep growling/high pitched shrieking, The Feculent Arena is as intense as it is claustrophobic and yet, it reels the listener in at every twist and turn.

The opening track, “The Grotesque Arena: Upon Splintered Bone” sets the stage perfectly with traditional death metal tropes providing an obligatory all out assault on the senses! Suitably brutal throughout, its left to album highlight “Beneath Bedlam” to throw a curveball, with this lumbering heavy beast of a track slowing everything right down to a death/doom pace. Tension oppressively builds and builds as anticipation for the tempo to explode reaches fever-pitch….but it doesn’t! The big tease. Instead, the track simply continues to drag its soiled carcass through the filth, feeding the fear its created. This is bloody good stuff.

Rounding things off, the final track, “The Grotesque Arena: A Perverse Spectacle”, puts us out of our misery as it explodes out of the gates, consuming us in its wrath and the album ends as it begins; in a flurry of death metal fury.

Quite the ride. Revulsion, fear; it’s all here, wrapped neatly in what is a formidable death metal package.

Something worth noting is that no member of the band is prominent in all this. The four guys work really well in unison to create this unholy beast of a release. If there was any downside to what Feculent have created, it’s this – it’s too damn short! It weighs in at just 19 minutes. They’re 19 bloody good minutes mind! It’s just over way too quickly.

Deserving of a place in any extreme metal collection, we’re looking forward to more releases from these guys. Bravo, Feculent, bravo. 8/10

[Press release states this is an album, yet Encyclopaedia Metallum list it as an EP – so take your pick!]

Savage Brisbane death metal unit FECULENT will release The Grotesque Arena on March 19th, 2021 via Caligari Records (tape) and Brilliant Emperor (vinyl).

About Darren Robb (17 Articles)
Petrolhead, metalhead, dunderhead. Lucky enough to have experienced Thrash Metal from the beginning. Still nostalgic for the 1980's. Having a love affair with Stout, although I am open to other beers. Old enough to know better.

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