Longstanding Akron death-sludge crew Fistula’s Goat makes for a suffocatingly brutal listen. (Happy 4th Of July!) As the samples in opener “Ohio Death Toll Rising” suggest, the five-song EP — which follows last year’s We, The Beast EP and 2008’s Burdened By Your Existence — is based on Ohio serial killer Anthony Sowell, arrested for rape in 1989, let go 15 years later, and arrested again in 2009 for the murder of 11 women found in various states of decomposition in his Cleveland home. It feels like a tip of the whiskey glass to Cleveland’s dark-side and poor policing that’s not likely to get the Cleveland tourist board too excited. It’s also not a celebration of Sowell. As Fistula mainman/current drummer/sole original member Corey Bing puts it:
I think it says there is a bunch of crazy fucks in Ohio, if anything … I think the guy was a true piece of filth. He deserves to die, there needs to be retribution, revenge. He’s a dirtbag, a weak person who preyed on the weak.
(He speaks of Sowell in the past tense, but the guy’s still alive, awaiting trial.) Bing goes on to note that the songs are “ugly … much like the situation surrounding Mr. Sowell.” They’re also huge, blown-out, crusty, feedbacking, glacial, and most of all, unrelenting. You’d do well to listen in tandem with Hooded Menace, Stormcrow, 16, early Autopsy (or Abscess’s Dawn Of Inhumanity), and Winter. All of it on half-speed. And, no worries, Bing says you’re supposed to get chills.
Goat is out via Crucial Blast.