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Suffering EP

Kaotoxin (2014)
Rating: 7/10

To prepare us for the forthcoming Mature Necropsy debut, French extreme metallers Putrid Offal has decided to ravage our sorry ears with this short, sweet ’n’ savage EP. Mind you, it’s certainly about time! These guys have existed since 1991 but after their final demo release in 1994 disappeared off the face of the planet, only to return in 2013.

Of course, you’d expect that much has changed within the ranks since the band’s inception, and yet you’d be wrong. Franck Peiffer and Frédéric Houriez survive from the original line-up, meaning this short composition is a frothing beast that latches onto your skin like some gargantuan leech and leaves you a mere costume of yourself.

Suffering is most certainly a taster for things to come, but unusually features three versions of the title track, the first being an upgraded version with gnarly vocal growls; churning black guitars and deep, raging drums. This is then followed by a 2014 demo version of the same track which – as one can imagine – lacks the bite and flair of the opening version, but it’s still nice to hear it in its raw formation.

This is then followed by the original 1991 version, which is a truly remarkable trip into the backwoods of the death metal underground. Here Putrid Offal offers more of an American-styled evil with those fusty vocal growls and lo-fi, dense guitar churns. It’s probably wrong of me to say that I prefer this version, and it certainly seems out of place on here among the more buzzing strains of ‘Suffering’ and the closing track, brand-spanking new cut ‘Livor Mortis’. Having said that though, the whole EP is still an infectious slab of gore-obsessed death metal which should appeal to fans of both underground rumbling and more groove-based, and, dare I say it, Swedish death metal fanatics who will no doubt get off on that chainsaw guitar sound which loosely froths away like some racing black tide.

There will always be a place within the murky death metal realm for bands who once waded within its deep chasms, but how the new material will fare we can only wait and see. Nevertheless, there’s enough on this opus to suggest that Putrid Offal will no doubt be a festering force again. It is just a shame that the EP didn’t offer a few more new numbers to get our teeth into.

Neil Arnold

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