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Final Man

Blood Harvest (2017)
Rating: 8/10

It seems that Australia has much to offer when it comes to extreme metal at the moment, because alongside Cemetery Urn we now have fellow Melbourne clan Contaminated, and boy, what a sludgy old school death metal racket they make. Having been in existence since 2013, the band come gurgling out of their much-ridden lair to deliver a worthy full-length debut album.

When I first lent my ears to this nine-track opus I really thought I’d stumbled upon some dismal late 80s / early 90s putrid demo, such is the filth-laden intensity this posse offers up. I don’t think that there’s a particular sound unique to Australia, because with Final Man Contaminated offer up something distinctly European at times. This is a doomy, musty Finnish-style of rank metal summed up in opener ‘Squalid Survival’ as well as such other morose delights as ‘Forlorn And Desolate’, ‘Co-opted In Worthless Sludge’ and the lovely ‘Mired In Shit’.

Musically, this is one heaving, dirt-coated slug of an opus. There are hints of Swedish drudgery in some of the riffs, but thick, suffocating and vile in its muffled vocal outburst which attempt to escape the grey, toxic haze created by the bludgeoning, bulbous layers of fog coughed out by that sordid bass, those thudding, gloom-laced drums and guitars which just squelch and slop.

With its hellish Lovecraftian cover design, Final Man provides an ideal unclean soundtrack. Imagine dripping, dank chambers, vile slimy sewers, and all manner of unwelcome inhabitants lurking down there in the slurry. And so the rattling, cankered noise excreted out acts like one huge, sickening, soupy turd coated in a Bolt Thrower-cum-Convulse smear.

‘Boneless Mass’ is a diseased blurt of gangrenous billowing, while the short putrescent ‘No Time To Rot’ provides extra dregs to proceedings. But as each dismal offering tumbles out of the rusty bowels, Contaminated never waver from their grubby stance. Grotty riffs cascade with ‘Their Future’, bleak serenades of sludge and silt are released via the monstrous ‘Co-opted In Worthless Sludge’, and more Finnish burial grounds are desecrated in the monolithic ooze of the title cut.

I can’t help but heap praise and vomit upon this stuffy and sick encrusted slab of cadaverous metal, and its slimy wake should drag a few admirers along for the ride.

Neil Arnold

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