Sludge’s grime, hardcore’s aggression, Swedish death metal’s buzzsaw grit (à la HM-2) and harsh noise converge on Fange’s sophomore full-length, Pourrissoir.
Coming a mere six months after the release of its predecessor, Purge, Pourrissoir sees this French act building upon the unique and devastating sound they crafted for themselves; dishing out six new tracks of caustic aggression and staggering abrasiveness.
Throughout this half-hour of sonic terror, drummer Boris Louvet delivers punishing percussive work that ranges from concussive d-beat to lumbering rhythmic crawls. Guitarist Benjamin Moreau and noise architect Jean-Baptiste Lévêque aid Louvet in aural destruction; conjuring bludgeoning riffs aplenty and menacing soundscapes respectively. Frontman Matthias Jungbluth is the icing on this noisy cake with his arresting, acidic scream. Oftentimes, Jungbluth is joined by both Moreau and Lévêque, which results in yet another layer of cacophonous madness.
Jungbluth’s throat-searing vocals opens up the record on “Parmi Les Ruines”, and is followed by a blitz of metallic vitriol. The band churn out sludge-ridden hardcore riffs and muscular, toxic grooves. The immense beatdown eventually comes to a bridge of feedback and swirling, hellacious sound before climaxing in an explosion of galloping, skull-caving hatred.
Immediately following “Parmi Les Ruines” is the storming”Agapes”, which begins with a slew of stampeding, murky hardcore plucked straight from the sewers. This rapid fire, pungent punk assault gradually morphs into stomping, crushing sludge riffs before quickly reverting back. Short bursts of tremolo-picked, flesh-ripping chaos also make an appearance as the song draws to a frenzied close.
The nearly nine-minute centerpiece “Les Gémonies” is one of the album’s crowning achievements. The song begins with lurching, dismal riffs enveloped in haunting atmospheres, which slowly become more distorted as they creep along. The track then explodes into lumbering assaults of doom and gloom, which blur the line between death and sludge metal. For the remainder of its duration, the song becomes a relentless beatdown of levianthanic instrumentation and earsplitting noise.
The band briefly return to hardcore supremacy with the closing track, “Ressac”. The track’s first two minutes or so is an unforgiving barrage of the band’s HM-2 fueled, incendiary hardcore; throwing crusty, dissonant and angular riffs in every direction. Then the riff rampage steadily slows to a sludgy crawl, and becomes more sparse and rife with foreboding atmospheres as it reaches its conclusion.
“Les Gémonies” is bookended by two experimental soundscape compositions titled “Ultrafrance” and “Vore”. These short, abrasive tracks bleed together elements of noise and power electronics, and are propelled by Jungbluth and company’s myriad of hell-spawned vocals. On one hand, it would have been just as well to see the band dealing more metallic damage during these moments on the album. But on the other hand, having these harsh, claustrophobic walls of sound add a new element of heaviness to the record, and makes Pourrissoir that much more physically demanding for the listener.
While Purge was a gritty and dismal example of sludge, Pourrissoir is a discordant recording of pure hate forged in the pits of Tartarus. It’s crushing instrumentation and atmospheric malevolence are nearly insurmountable, leaving listeners to collapse underneath its weight. Fange successfully avoided the sophomore slump with this release, which will hopefully be the first of many more to come.
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Label: Throatruiner Records
Favorite Tracks: “Agapes” and “Ressac”
For Fans Of: Cowards, Fistula and Seven Sisters of Sleep