California gore-grind outfit, Dipygus, dazzled the underground with 2019’s DeathOoze and return once more to remind us that their pus-dribbling interpretation of metal is a unique concoction for the depraved and blood-thirsty. At times death-doom, always extreme, and rancid in its putrid outcome, Bush Meat is a slimy piece of death metal that will intrigue as much as it slays.
Like Ontario death-grinders, VHS, Dipygus are fond of sludgy distortion and the occasional moment of sleaze, but the music is more akin to Cauldron Black Ram in its perfidy. ‘St Augustine, FL 1896’ mixes extravagant whammy bar action with Obituary’s trademark repugnant aesthetic and Mortician’s guttural supremacy. The guitars are septic and padded out with extra distortion to give the music a gluttonous edge that will make your eyes water as much as your taste buds. With some of the most bizarre song titles of recent years, ‘The Khumjung Scalp’ and ‘Osteodontokeratic Savagery’ live up to their promise with throbbing bass guitar lines and filthy guitars. The former will remind you of My Dying Bride’s legendary Towards the Sinister demo from 1990, while the latter embraces a Phrygian pattern with shades of Autopsy’s gory menace. It’s messy, it’s rotten, it’s pure sound pollution, but it’s heavy and captivating at the same time.
The five-minute instrumental track, ‘Plasmodial Mass (Slime Mold)’ captures Dipygus at their most rotten and charming. Like many songs on the album, it starts with a doom metal rite of passage but soon transforms into a schizophrenic flurry of different tempo shifts and dry-tone guitar shredding. The layering of noise is thick and brutish, like French death metal fiends, Putrid Offal. Yet the Californians thrive on a surprise spontaneity often missing from this type of music. ‘Bush Meat’ follows no discernible structure but winds its way through a maze of gory riffs coated in goose fat. The earth-shattering bass on ‘Long-Pig Feast’ is deeper than the incision in the chest of a heart surgery patient and almost as impressive as the dissonant Slayer riff underpinning it. This is nasty yet listenable at the same time.
Only one criticism persists throughout this album. Switch off for two minutes, and you forget what happened and will need a reminder where you are in the track listing. The paradoxical mix of harsh noise and technicality should make it an interesting journey for most, but it might interrupt your listening experience if you allow your mind to wander. Seldom are the song arrangements monotonous or predictable, so it should not present too many difficulties if you stay focused.
As a cult band, Dipygus enhance their credentials even more on Bush Meat and can look to the future with satisfaction that their evolution is turning into a unique one with a distinctive sound. They might just rear their heads over the underground parapet after this release and gain wider attention.
Release Date: 25/01/2021
Record Label: Memento Mori Records
Standout tracks: St Augustine, FL, 1896; Osteodontokeratic Savagery; Myiasis in Human Mouth
Suggested Further Listening: Mortician – Hacked up for Barbecue (1996), My Dying Bride – Towards the Sinister (Demo) (1990), VHS – Gore from Beyond the Stars (2020)