Even in a year as loaded with great goregrind as 2020, the debut demo from Copenhagen’s Septage really stood out. Septic Decadence was four tunes in just under 12 minutes, loaded with blasts and tremolo riffs and mid-tempo lurches and the type of buried-beneath-mucus vocals that are typical of the style (but rarely done so well). Splattery, fetid, and thoroughly disgusting, with an almost deceptively smart songwriting touch to ensure the listener pays attention. And naturally, an insane amount of fun.
If anything, this new EP is somehow even grosser than its demo predecessor. The guitars have more of that muffled splatter, sometimes forming a sort of brown blur with the vocals, especially when things are particularly chaotic. The vocals are still usually utterly inhuman and grotesque as on the demo ‒ “unbelievably phlegmy” was the way I described the vocals last year, and that might not have been gross enough a description ‒ with even the occasional scream sounding as ridden with filth and viscera as the deep gutturals. All three members handle vocals (as is good goregrind tradition), and they all sound like a beached whale’s fart muffled beneath the corpse of another beached whale.
The fact that the dudes in Septage are pretty adept at their instruments only furthers the repulsion of it all. The bass almost dances on much of the EP, but especially during closer “Simmered in Mephitis,” while that song’s solo does just enough to inject some madness over a crawling passage (the tune also includes d-beat, near black metal, and an unexpected but fitting synth outro; can’t predict this stuff). The drumming of Ugur Yildirim remains a major highlight, providing both balance and bombast where necessary. Over just 30 seconds in opener “Of Gangrene Limbs,” he changes up from hyperblasting (with cymbal overload, of course) to sassier, mid-tempo passages with ride taps and slick tom work. He also thankfully keeps the natural tones used on the demo, adding to the… uh… earthiness (?) of the band’s sound.
Septage can keep firing in 12-minute bursts, as far as I’m concerned. Septisk Eradikasyon hits every bit as hard as the band’s first release, and they continue to show that band chemistry and songwriting smarts are the best tool when tackling extremely well-trod paths of extreme music.
As always, bring a towel.