Bowel Fetus was a band active for a couple of years from 2004 to 2008 which concocted a weird mix of Doom and Goregrind. Glen, the man behind this project, was so kind to send me a couple of promo Cds together with some old stuff I ordered from him at the time. Even if the band is probably dead by now (Glen if you read this, get in touch!) I feel like reviewing these two albums just because fuck you, that’s why, the band was awesome. And besides, it had a really nice logo.
Bowel Fetus / Offal (Aus/Bra) “Putr-essence” split Cd 2008 The Hole
Offal is the only still active band among those featured in this post. I don’t know how much Andrè from Lymphatic Phlegm considers it a side project rather than a fully certified band, but in any case this stuff is quite good. He started Offal as a tribute to Autopsy and Impetigo, but I could dare to say they don’t really sound much like neither, except for the horror movie samples. If I had to attempt some comparison, they really sound like some of those old Carcass-inspired demo bands from Scandinavia (or Fennoscandia) of the late 80’s-early ’90s like demo-era Xysma or Traumatic, clearly less “pathological” than these. Most of the songs are mid tempos and the varied use of vocals is decently done. While I definitely dig the genre, I think Offal lacked here a bit in pure sewage tase in the arrangements.
Bowel Fetus here deploys two tracks of his top-level Gore/Doom in the vein of Catasexual Urge Motivation meets Autopsy meets dISEMBOWELMENT and you know, for a one man band this stuff was definitely good. Just like CUM, slow crushing riffs seem to linger forever just to be replaced by furious Mortician-like blasts all the while floating on our beloved sick Autopsy dissonance . What’s more impressive in my opinion is that while certainly the songs are not overly complex, Glen doesn’t throw in a single wrong note in these tracks.
The case is cardboard which means start looking for a plastic film as soon as possible if you get it because it gets ruined very fast. The sleeve contains also a lyricsheet which is quite unusual these days, at least for Offal, since Bowel Fetus, afaik, has no lyrics. Oh and the disc itself is a beauty, red both sides.
Bowel Fetus / Canker (Aus/) “Fetal Toilet Treats / Drink My Urine You Straightedge Cunts” split Cd-r 2005 Fecal Matter Discorporated
Ah, FMD, one of my favorite underground labels. Pure DIY mentality and lots of musical deranged psychosis. Fecal Matter grabbed Canadian goregrinder due Canker and Bowel Fetus for one hell of a spliit here.
Bowel Fetus opens up their side whose cover this time delves less into gore and more into sick scat-urine imagery. The sound itself is here also extremely deep, rough and bass-heavy. with a weird background noise similar to some electronic component gone awry. I really like thes etracks, possibly the best, heavier and sicker Bowel Fetus recorded. While the slow Disembowelment/CUM bridges are present in the second song “Clown Suck”, Glen decided to go knee deep into the goregrind soundscape here, maybe as an homage to the label. Te vocals are too a deep liquid yet very low gurgle, perfect for the job. All in all this is a flawless recording.
Canker’s story, for those new to the name, is seriously spine-chilling as both members of this band committed suicide in respectively years 2006 and 2007. Their sound changed quite a bit over time and these tracks are a bit on the noisy/garage side with one of the strangest mixes I have heard especially for the percussions. Songs are typically 1 minute average with a bass-guitar sound that is more like a broken string but at least apart from the trademark goregrind vocals everything here is played with real instruments, so much so you hear “recording” sounds in the background at the start of every song. I have listened to so many bedroom goregrind projects over the years that hearing honest garage sewer shit makes me feel almost nostalgic.
The packaging is the typical FMD CD-r with home-made color xeroxed covers in a plastic sleeve. Both bands recorded urine and scat-themed songs for this split, and the cover artwork corresponds.