Blood Spore’s Fungal Warfare Upon All Life: a Promising Death Metal Debut From Both the New and Old Schools
Blood Spore’s impressive debut is a triumphant declaration of war at the microscopic level: “The Ancient Earthen Fungus will claim what’s theirs and destroy all in its path.” Fungal Warfare Upon All Life paints a hellish landscape of ruin, deriving their brutality through biology textbooks. When civilization seems to be careening full speed toward an inescapable, man-made doomsday, the concept of a malignant army of fungus lying in wait to consume our carcasses is all too menacing. Sometimes Mother Nature can be the most vicious subject matter of all.
Like any solid death metal album, this one speaks (or shrieks) to fans of both the new and old school, akin to both Bolt Thrower and Death, and drawing a thematic similarity to contemporary slime freaks in Outer Heaven and Tomb Mold.
This album drips with deep red rivers of personal anguish. I could sense, quite palpably upon listening, that the culprits behind these compositions are some truly miserable, tortured and anxiety riddled souls. The sense of dread is real, and will pummel you with a chunky volley of down-tuned riffs. The dank, cavernous compositions coupled with Chris Emerson’s primitive screams conjure visions of manic laboratory mice, pumped full of amphetamines, running through an endless corridor. Around each corner is another dead end, only more paranoia, doom, and disgust.
The opening “Hostile Fruiting Bodies” slogs through the mud with ominous glee. I immediately felt as if I was crawling on all fours through a bog filled with body parts. Emerson’s screechy death yells add to the animalistic domain. Then Fred Graboski’s drums kick in with a shuffling punk beat to accompany a cadence of palm-muted guitar slabs. This has a fun breakdown that will certainly make for zombie-paced moshpits at live shows.
“Cede to the Saprophyte” speaks again to the band’s ecological interest, as a saprophyte is a microorganism that feeds on decaying matter, a real life zombie all around us and under our noses. Totally brutal. The track yawns to life with a dreary guitar yarn, a flash of shimmering bright notes amid the deep oceans of sludge. Guitarist Luke Gary’s virtuoso abilities shine in this second stanza, as he unleashes a mesmerizing tapping solo, which gives way to a nasty rhythm guitar section reminiscent of Cannibal Corpse’s more technical passages.
The closing track, “Apex Colony,” evokes a brooding throwback to Autopsy and Incantation, taking its time with each hit and stretching out the tension for maximum misery.
Fungal Warfare Upon All Life has surprisingly consistent and solid production for a young band’s first offering. Much like Kingdom Fungi, one of the most diverse forms of life on earth, the EP’s three tracks all sound like they share a common DNA from which they mutate and explore the various tendrils of their spore-like being. Each song has the same bleak tone without sounding like the recording sections have been hacked together in different basements across the tri-state area on a tape deck. The band elevates the grim atmosphere with synthesizer interludes between songs, and in the final moments of the album that certainly had me checking over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t about to get disemboweled by Swamp Thing.
Blood Spore are here and will leave you wanting to watch Jean Claude Van Damme movies as you paint your face in camouflage and wrap your hands with gauze coated in glass shards. Heavily suggested listening for all you death metal caveman maniacs of the world. Four out of five Franzia boxes from the Grim One.
The Necrosexual is the most electrifying man in corpse entertainment. His upcoming album will be available for download on May 17.