Not many bands take over a decade to release their debut album. That’s not to say Manchester’s FOETAL JUICE has been sitting on its collective arse since 2005, either, though, having filled the time with a demo, two EPs, three split releases, and as many singles. And now, a “scant” four years after Masters Of Absurdity comes Gluttony.

At first notice, it seems the quartet has left behind much of the parody/juvenile humor element, or at least the twisting of film/song title/band names for its output, which could be chalked up to either input of the band’s new vocalist and bassist, or simply not wanting to run further risk of turning into CANNABIS CORPSE. Still, the hilariously-titled ‘Take Your Face For A Shit’ boasts an instantly catchy, convoluted riff, something about the guitar tone just sounding familiar in a good way.

‘Manifestation Of Falsity’ is a pandemic-worthy gleeful gallop into near d-beat frenzy, and what stands out most three songs in is the sheer energy of the performance. You can tell the lads are enjoying themselves, and the feeling brings to this writer’s memories at last that of shows in dank, grime-caked rehearsal rooms where at least one member probably lived, the air nearly fluid with a heady concoction of sweat, stale beer, cigarettes and ditch weed.

Recalling bits of the incredibly underrated VICIOUS ART in moments, ‘Venomous Domination’ scorches and salts the earth, not once letting up, the true standout of Gluttony thus far. You’re not going to find much in the way of “dynamics” or “peaks and valleys” here, FOETAL JUICE wisely keeping things well within a defined framework, but also interesting. The drum and bass lick that kicks off ‘Nether Pandemonium’ reeks of GENERAL SURGERY, and while as a whole I’d like to see Derek Carley toss a bit more variety into the mix vocally, his bellows are understandable without losing any of the silverback gorilla power needed for death metal of this sort.

On our way out the door of the pub, ‘Spirit Leech’ pummels ‘n’ pounds, reminding us where we’ve been with the subtlety of a pool cue to the back of the skull. Most standard death metal is stagnant and content to be so, it seems, but on Gluttony, FOETAL JUICE manages to hail the past, injecting a bit of much-needed passion.
Review By: Lord Randall

Gore House Productions
4 / 6