Album Review – Festering / From The Grave (2015)

These undead Portuguese metallers are back from the grave to tear our flesh apart and provide us some high-quality old school Death Metal.

Rating5

Festering-FrontCover_smallJust like any gory and macabre zombie flick, there are times in our lives when people or things that we thought were dead and gone for good make an impactful return to feast on our flesh and haunt our souls. If you’re addicted to sordid old school Death Metal the likes of Dismember, Entombed and Grave, you won’t mind being devoured by the undead Portuguese Death Metal band Festering who, as per the name of their brand new album, are back From The Grave to tear all of us apart.

After releasing a split album back in 1992 and remaining dormant for almost two decades, this talented band from Santo António dos Cavaleiros, Portugal was reformed in 2011, releasing a demo tape entitled From The Grave and an EP named Exhumed, both in 2012. Now in 2015, following the same gruesome path of those releases, their debut full-length album From The Grave, which features cover illustration and artworks by renowned artist César Valladares (Asphyx, Nominon, Graveyard, among many others), will provide the listener a full-bodied portrait of what these cold-blooded Portuguese metallers are capable of.

The quick and sinister intro Festering initiates the sonic cannibalism that becomes extremely barbaric in Exhumed, an old school Death Metal song with absolutely no shenanigans, just straightforward devastation where riffs and growls take the spotlight (as expected), also showcasing drums highly influenced by the blast beats of Black Metal but slightly groovier. Following that promising start, we have the perverse Infected and its hints of Doom Metal, with the bestial vocals by Pedro Gonçalves inspired by old Sepultura and Morbid Angel. It’s a great song for headbanging led by its wicked riffs, where the band accelerates the rhythm, slows it down and goes on with that alternation a few more times, reaching an outstanding result in the end.

The Myth Of Creation can be considered a circle-pit generator chant, with drummer Norberto Arrais kicking ass behind his kit while the guitar lines by João Galego seem as if they’re going to decapitate us so sharp they are, not to mention the aggressiveness of the low-tuned bass lines by Koja Mutilator. And if you think Festering will give you a break you’re damn wrong, because they keep kicking you in the head with their nonstop viciousness in Consuming From Within, a very traditional tune with lots of groove, feeling sometimes like a tribute to Cannibal Corpse and other classic gory bands due to its lyrics (“Open sores all over my body and exuding a foul scent / With an intense suffering, the anguish spend my days / With the excruciating pain that runs through my body / And wanton my flesh like a cold steel blade”); followed by the “infected” musicality and dirty melody found in Submerged In Emptiness, with highlights to the rhythmic beats by Norberto. This tune lives up to the sanguinary tradition of Death Metal, or in other words, it’s fast, heavy and wicked, and we love all that.

Promo-PictureThe next track, Bloodline, has a deranged ambience boosted by the demented deep growls by Pedro, with its hardcore riffs and extreme violence being the icing on the cake of this sensational feast of blood and death that should work marvelously if played live. Moreover, kudos to João for his spot-on guitar solo, adding more electricity to the overall result. In the Blackened Doom Metal tune Proliferation Of Infected Leucocytes their demonic side arises, and if you pay good attention to the music you’ll find hints of Rock N’ Roll and Southern Metal in it, increasing its complexity and harmony but obviously always keeping it carnivorous. Lastly, closing the album we have the slashing Ascent Of The Blessed, where the combination of its direct shredding and high-speed drums turns it into an excellent option for mosh pits, with Pedro once again delivering his amazing sick roars to give life (or death) to the song’s lyrics (“The angels all ascended, / The demons left behind / A new generation was born / From their hatred and cruelty – We”), and the shortest of all tracks, Psychic Convulsions Of Neurasthenia, a beautiful name for a violent composition with highlights to the evil bass lines by Koja.

There are several places where you can find more details about the music by Festering, such as their YouTube channel and especially at their ReverbNation page, and grab your copy of From The Grave at the band’s BandCamp, at the Caverna Abismal Records BandCamp, or at the Caverna Abismal Records webstore. As aforementioned, these talented (and undead) metallers are back from the grave not only to tear our flesh apart but, more important than that, to also provide us all high-quality old school Death Metal. But that’s if you’re not afraid of living dead musicians, of course.

Best moments of the album: Infected, Submerged In Emptiness and Bloodline.

Worst moments of the album: Proliferation Of Infected Leucocytes.

Released in 2015 Caverna Abismal Records/War Productions/Sinais Produções

Track listing
1. Festering (Intro) 0:23
2. Exhumed 3:15
3. Infected 4:36
4. The Myth Of Creation 4:15
5. Consuming From Within 4:21
6. Submerged In Emptiness 4:36
7. Bloodline 4:13
8. Proliferation Of Infected Leucocytes 3:36
9. Ascent Of The Blessed 5:21
10. Psychic Convulsions Of Neurasthenia 2:53

Band members
Pedro Gonçalves – vocals
João Galego – guitars
Koja Mutilator – bass
Norberto Arrais – drums

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 402: Infected

The pigs might be gone, but at least our tough sheriff is back.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Infected yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

I cannot believe I didn’t see what was actually happening to Greg Patrick last espisode! I thought he had some previous disease and died of natural causes, just as many other people, but it was in fact a new deadly virus like Ebola or the swine flu, a brand new threat to the whole group because it doesn’t matter how you die, you become a walker. I’m sad Greg Patrick won’t be in the show anymore, but happy to know that because of what happened to him there will be even more drama and danger in every episode to the survivors.

twd402_01Last night’s episode, Infected, had a lot of questions without answers, action, tough decisions and intestines (a scene inspired by the movie Day of the Dead, from the zombie master George A. Romero, according to Greg Nicotero), a perfect combination for all TWD fans. There were so many questions left that I can’t wait for next week’s episode to answer some of them: is there really a traitor in the group, the person that was feeding rats to zombies? Or were just those two stupid girls feeding their friend “Nick” in a very innocent (and idiot) way? How long will the prison fence stand still and strong against the increasing number of walkers looking for human flesh (I saw Nicotero saying there will be over 7,500 zombies in the next episode)? Who’s infected by the deadly virus, and who’s not? Is there a cure? How will everybody be able to sleep, knowing anyone can die at any minute and become a zombie inside the prison? Who burned the bodies of the two people that were already infected? How will Tyreese react to the death of his love, and to the presumable death of his sister Sasha, who is also infected by the virus? As I sad, too many questions to be answered.

Then there were the tough decisions, most of them taken by Rick. It was sad seeing Rick throwing those poor little pigs to the zombies to protect the fence from falling down, but at least we got our good old sheriff back. No more farming, no more cropping, it’s time for some action! In my opinion, giving Carl’s gun back to the boy was the best decision he could make, especially because Carl is really good at shooting and can help saving many people. Moreover, how many lives has he already saved since he got his gun? As far as I can remember, he saved Rick, Michonne (a couple of times), his sister Judith, Maggie, among others. A boy with a gun will have serious consequences to the whole story, of course, probably most of them for good. And I’m pretty sure Carl will put on his sheriff hat back now, that little badass.

twd402_02The most touching scene in this episode was seeing Michonne crying when holding Judith in her arms. Why was she crying? Did she have a baby a couple of years ago? Did she lost a baby? Did walkers eat her baby? Another important question to be answered soon, I hope. Michonne is becoming more and more human, and less that tough super-woman from the previous season, but I don’t know how this can be good for the group. Well, I personally prefer her chopping zombie heads with her sword than carrying a baby, but the producers know what they are doing. And before I forget, it was nice seeing Beth singing I Don’t Want to Grow Up to Judith. I’m not a fan of Tom Waits, but I love The Ramones version. Lucky baby, anyway!

Stupid humans, thousands of walkers, a deadly virus, a decaying prison… What else can make their lives even more miserable and the show more interesting to us? Will there be any more surprises this season? And again, where the hell is the Governor? I guess when he returns he will kick some serious ass. It’s going to be totally brutal, and awesome.

Infected (FULL EPISODE)