Reviewed By Simon Milburn
History lesson with a fresh makeover
Carcass has a lot to answer for. Really. Gore laced artwork and medical textbook like lyrics aside, there’s no doubt the lads from Liverpool (U.K.) have a place well and truly at the pointy end of the list of influential metal bands from the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Goregrind as a genre might never have existed if it wasn’t for Jeff Walker, Bill Steer, and Ken Owen. Think about it - Reek of Putrefaction pushed countless boundaries both visual and aural. In the true spirit of Carcass and their classic track “Exhume to Consume”, underground French gore metallers Putrid Offal have done just that. They’ve resurrected their output from almost a quarter of a century ago and re-recorded it for everyone to digest now.
Mature Necropsy is some truly, ugly grind. Sure the production might be slick but there’s little doubt that these guys are of the same vintage as early Carcass give or take a couple of years. It’s not just the blast beats that affirm that sentiment. It’s the riffs. Suitably down tuned, often frantically picked or driven by punishing chords, this key element exhibits all the hallmarks of what Carcass were unleashing across their first pair of records. Whilst there is no direct rip off here at all, it’s obvious in songs like “Mortuary Garlands”, “Suffering”, and “Organic Excavation” that Putrid Offal was very much from the same school of grind as the aforementioned Liverpudlians.
Coupled with the bonesaw like riffage, Franck Peiffer’s gurgling vocals effortlessly switch between styles akin to what Walker and Steer pioneered way back when. When you put it all together, this re-recording of old material is pretty solid indeed. The sound is suitably thickened up by addition of guitarist Philippe Reinhalter and the modern production to boot. The end result is thirteen tracks of bludgeoning goregrind that will sit very well with anyone who is a fan of early Carcass, Exhumed, and The County Medical Examiners. At the highest level they are all cut from the same cloth making it a very easy step for fans to take to Putrid Offal.
If there’s any doubt to as just how much Putrid Offal are rooted in the realms of Carcass, check out “From Plasma to Embalming” which draws similarities to “Foeticide” and “Ruptured in Purulence” throughout. But what aids in keeping Putrid Offal out of the “B-grade rip off” pile are the subtle differences throughout. The slower, doomier pace of early Benediction rears its head on cuts like “Repulsive Corpse” whilst “Rotted Flesh” feels a little Pungent Stench influenced at times. It’s important to note that these influences are not dominating in any way, shape or form. They are there, mostly hidden under the surface but at times, they do appear and they certainly enhance Putrid Offal’s material along the way.
There might be a lot of parallels to one particular band with Putrid Offal’s Mature Necropsy but somehow, it sounds fresh and exciting. It’s probably mostly due to the thick production that it has been granted; something that it most probably would not have benefitted from a quarter of a century ago. Either way, Mature Necrospy is a solid showcase of material that has aged well and could stand amongst the grind and goregrind of today effortlessly. Go check out some history, grind fans!