Label: Label 2318
When it comes to death metal, I normally like it to sound as if the genre never managed to quite crawl out of the sewer. Give me filthy, slime-encrusted riffs and inhuman vocals, with a foundation of dirty bass and pummeling drums, and I’m usually more than satisfied. As such, Bacterial Husk are have put out just the kind of death metal I like with EP Agnosia Of Omens. The press release references early Gorguts, Obituary, and Death, and I wouldn’t argue with any of that, and Bacterial Husk are worthy of such comparisons. This EP is a quarter hour blast of unclean, putrid death metal, and I think it’s bloody great.
From the killer artwork to the oh-so death metal songtitles (for example, “Leech Carriage”; “Dismal Shine Of Famine”), everything points towards this being an exercise in punishing death metal, and it does not disappoint. “Sculpting The Locust Deity” gets things going, and once its introductory minute is done setting the scene, it throws the listener straight in to a world of filth and decay. Every riff and vocal line has the delightful feeling of having been dragged out from a pit of slime, and though the production is strong and clear, nothing about Agnosia Of Omens could be described as ‘clean’.
That said though, it’s not entirely repellent and off-putting. There’s plenty of Obituary-esque groove in the riffs, and “Dismal Shine Of Famine” has more than a hint of Cannibal Corpse to it, which is very welcome. Nor is it entirely dwelling in the darkness, with some of the guitar leads – as during “Sculpting The Locust Deity” – having more than a bit of a Death feel to them. All of this ensures that, whilst Agnosia Of Omens is a fairly short record, there are plenty of different aspects and textures to its sound, even if most of its moments can largely be defined by their levels of filth.
It’s slightly surprising that this is only the debut release from Bacterial Husk, given how confident and accomplished it is. It might not really bring anything too new to the death metal table, but it does take old sounds and put them together in ways that makes them feel fresh and exciting again. And as someone who very much favors the old school of death metal, that is high praise indeed. If they can build on what they’ve done here, Bacterial Husk are a band with a bright, filthy, slime-encrusted future.