PICK OF THE WEEK: Putrescine’s virulent power, deadly energy hammer into ‘The Fading Flame’

It’s the end of another challenging week, and once again we are faced with needing something to incinerate our insides and let us feel a different kind of relentless pain. But that’s nothing new, so we have to go back into the pool and generate another thing to get us through the existential dread and into some productive form of ourselves.

That’s a wordy way of saying thank fuck for Putrescine, whose debut full-length record “The Fading Flame” nearly is in our laps, and it could not come at a better time. Luckily, I’ve been able to indulge in this 10-track beast for the past month or so, leaving me with the proper fuel to help combat the utterly depressing times. It’s not that the music you find here will be a sugar shot to your bloodstream from a lyrical standpoint, as the tracks lean on the person side of things which often examine pain the members of the band—the core trio is vocalist/drum programmer Marie McAuliffe, guitarist/vocalist Trevor Van Hook, and guitarist/bassist Zac Sanders, with Calin Kim and Shane Bogdan joining in the live setting—have experienced themselves. There is darkness, suffering, and anger bursting out of every seam as the band puts together a devastating and mentally enthralling package that keeps this thing stimulating from front to back.

“Age of Fire” bleeds in, guitars slash, and power bubbles as this intro instrumental works into “The Abyss” that punishes and confounds right away. Growls and shrieks hammer as the melodies smear, and the pace utterly splatters. The soloing catches fire as it violently expands your mind while the shrieks maul, and your will is bent by their sound. “Devourer of Gods” is a track released as a single last year, and it’s punchy as hell as the guitar work begins to strangle. Shrieks scrape your psyche as the pace increases, and the soloing absolutely goes off, crunching into sound zaps. “Profaned Failure” has guitars exploding out of the gates as vicious shrieks gnaw away while the riffs dare you to fight back. The vocals pummel as the guitars spread their evil intent, death flourishes, and everything comes to a massive end. The title track unloads leads angling in and the bass trudging through mud, as vicious death lands heavy blows. Guitars tease and then jolt, the drums murder, and guttural madness floods over, burying you.

“Age of Dark” is an instrumental interlude with strange ambiance and hazy keys blending in, pushing toward heavily emotional “That Mountain” that has tricky leads and scrambles your brain inside your skull. Anxious shrieks lead the way, as McAuliffe howls, “The world smirks with its whip, lashing at blistered scars, drawing that blood again, reliving that blood again.” Dizzying heaviness and profound heaviness combine, casting a dark pall and ending with gut-wrenching weirdness. “Outsider” mashes bones as the rubbery bass work causes your head to tilt violently, and the vocals sound like razor blades inside McAuliffe’s throat. Strange leads feel like a fever dream while everything blisters, and the final explosive push leads toward “Reek of Putrescine,” also previously released in 2020. The track has a blinding start before the bass bludgeons, and vicious growls destroy the senses. Crazed shrieks, alien bass, and a warm solo add to the intensity before everything comes to a raw, nasty end. “In a Setting Sun” is your closer, bringing moody glow and a prog-fueled push that rewires your mind. Beastly wails dig into your ribs while strange leads penetrate, and the drums kill. Voices call out as violins slice their way in, feeling elegant and damaged as the track fades into dust.

I’ve been kind of champing at the bit over here for Putrescine’s full-length debut after devouring their other releases the past couple years, and “The Fading Flame” absolutely delivers. It’s pummeling, furious, often really strange death metal that keeps you awake and alert pretty much by force. This is an awesome first official burst by a band that’s always fought for what they believe in, have done it with unabashed power, and are willing and ready to bleed in front of you.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Putrescine-464280534319064/

To buy the album, go here: https://tridroid.bandcamp.com/album/the-fading-flame

For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/TridroidRecords/

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