Tag Archives: Ross

Fumigation – “Integrated Pest Management”

I had the great fortune recently of receiving an email out of the blue from Fumigation‘s Chris Humeniuk with a request to review his band’s soon to be released CD, Integrated Pest Management. Intrigued, I proceeded to download the tunes from the provided Dropbox link and fire up the band’s website, which, brilliantly, has a lyrics page.

Before we get into the release I think it’s only fair to warn you that I have little to no expertise regarding all of metal’s sub-genres, including death metal. Quite frankly I don’t really care if your band is stoner metal, doom metal, melodic death metal or whatever. The only thing I care about is this: when I annoy my neighbours listening to your album is it going to kick my ass?

In the case of Ottawa‘s death metal quintet Fumigation, the answer is a definite yes. The band’s website refers to its sound as “groove-laden death metal” and I would add elements of technical DM as well. What sets them apart, however, is their choice of theme over and above the typical negativity associated with the genre. When I asked him how a death metal band with a pest control theme evolved he replied, “Our theme came about by me getting a job as an exterminator, and one of my friends thought it would be really funny to have a band about my job. I had a bunch of songs ready to go for a band anyways, so I figured I’d try and write lyrics and come up with ideas to turn everything into a pest control themed band…basically the life of an exterminator. I then found people that thought the idea was pretty funny and off we went, and 5 years later here we are with our first full-length album ready to drop.”

Highlights include the outrageous “Fleshlight Castration“, “Pediculosis, (Mommy I Have Lice)“, the crushingly heavy opening track, “Cranofacial Duplication” and the terrifying, “Lick of the Carnivorous Caterpillars“. Who knew that fuzzy little multi-footed critters could evoke such terror?

Overall Fumigation‘s Integrated Pest Management scores a solid 4/5.

Excellent production qualities and well-crafted songs should take this release a long way. Plus, those pesky lice are likely to abandon ship once you start head banging, an unforeseen bonus for sure.Fumigation - Integrated Pest Management

Bloated Pig – “Made For Hell”

The new Bloated Pig album is about to be birthed on August 24, 2012 and the album release party will be at what is perhaps Calgary’s best rock venue, The Distillery, that evening. Incidentally, for those of you who are attending the CD release party you will get your very own copy of the new release, Made For Hell; not a bad proposition for a $15 ticket. But what about those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to live in Calgary? Why should we care about another indie metal album?

Actually there are several reasons, but the one most worthy of mention is this: axeman and lead vocalist Al’s guitar tone and style is dirtier than a German scat video. For the metalhead guitarists among us it would be interesting to ask him what his rig looks like because this CD should come with a warning label: “Prolonged Exposure to This CD May Melt Your Fucking Face Off”. (Perhaps there is time for said stickers to be affixed to the CDs before the show?) Honestly.

The fun gets off to an ominous start with a moody faded-in intro to “Overwinter” that explodes in a crescendo of glorious metal riffage at about the 1:45 mark. From there Made For Hell takes the listener on a rocket ride that seamlessly moves between solid thrash and groove-laden blues-based metal. Although there may be elements of southern rock/metal in their sound don’t suggest to the boys in BP that they are a southern rock band. In an excellent article published earlier this week at beatroute.ca guitarist Al is quoted as saying, “We’re from fucking Canada man, we can’t be southern rock, it’s geographically impossible.”

Vocally Al alternates between a nasty thrash howl and something a little more melodic that sounds like the result of a sexual union between ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and a Louisiana swamp gator. In either case the vocals fit perfectly with the aforementioned filthy guitar tone, a tone that serves what is perhaps the greatest strength of the CD: killer riffs. Every track features riffage at its finest and, to the band’s credit, not just the same old standards being rehashed. BP knows how to construct a series of riffs and meld them into a crushing wall of sound that brings to mind the warning label suggested earlier.

If you reside in Calgary then you absolutely must see the show on Friday night. Grab the CD, let your friends hear it. Chat it up on Twitter and Facebook. And for the love of Pete would somebody please shoot some decent video of the show and post it to YouTube??? Those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to be present will appreciate it!

The bottom line is this: Bloated Pig’s Made For Hell is 5/5.

Bloated Pig - "Made For Hell"

FaceTheHate – “I See Red”

I See Red, the debut album from North Bay, Ontario’s FaceTheHate is a solid thrasher that satisfies. A collection of nine tracks, the release displays strong production values and features several interesting twists and turns throughout.

The album gets off to a fine start with the appropriately titled instrumental “Beginnings”, wherein the band sets the tone with a hypnotic galloping riff that crushes, caresses, pushes, and pulls the hearer into the overall body of work. The tone thus set, the ensuing eight tracks propel the listener on a metal-injected thrill ride that will impress even the most jaded of moshers and headbangers.

From a songwriting viewpoint the entirety of I See Red is strong – if this album were a package of hot dogs it would read, “all meat, no filler”. The band displays impressive musicianship throughout utilizing elements of thrash, metalcore and progressive metal in a tightly bundled package that never loses its focus – each song stands up well on its own while serving the whole. Specifically the guitar work is stellar, although – and this is the exception – there are a couple of slower melodic lead passages that sound somewhat awkward to this ear, particularly in the aforementioned first track. That specific bit of criticism, however, is very subjective in nature with the likelihood that other ears may hear nothing awkward at all.

Lyrically the band avoids most of the cliché typically trotted out in the genre; for example, where one song totally disdains organized religion, another leaves the question of God and spirituality open-ended. It seems that FaceTheHate is satisfied with asking the questions typical of the genre without shoving the answers down our throats.

As an overall package I See Red scores a solid 4/5. If your ear enjoys great riffing and complex song arrangement with clear and brutal low end then this album is for you. FaceTheHate has given the world an excellent independent debut that deserves to be heard.

Highly recommended!

Preview I See Red on ReverbNation and for more info about FaceTheHate check them out on Facebook.

FaceTheHate - "I See Red"