Some of you might know Seattle’s Filth is Eternal in their previous guise as Fucked and Bound. If that doesn’t jog your memory, it’s possible you’ve come across vocalist, Lisa Mungo, in the experimental sludge band, He Whose Ox is Gored. Okay, if you’re not from Seattle, maybe none of this means anything to you, but take note of this – Mungo and Co. are still as vitriolic as their name suggests.
You can view Filth is Eternal’s new record as a follow up to Fucked and Bound’s 2018 Suffrage album. The personnel are the same and the songs are short enough for a classic grindcore album, yet the music is more d-beat punk that metallic hardcore. Opener, ‘On the Rake’, makes it clear that the guitars are less focused on riffing and more on providing a noisy backdrop for Lisa Mungo’s vessel-bursting mid-range screams. One listen to the veiled attack on Christianity on ‘The Chain’ tells you this record goes heavier on the classic hardcore side than the metal bludgeoning the members are happy to embrace in other bands. If you want intense, then, look no further than the powerviolence stomp of ‘Strange Man’ or the fuzzy distortion of ‘Nosebleed’. Filth is Eternal show that you don’t need blast beats and down-tuned guitars to deliver a bruising sonic experience.
Like most hardcore bands, the standout performer is the drummer. Mat Chandler gives this record an added layer of eye-bulging intensity on ‘Love is a Lie’ and ‘Pearl Slug’ with his flawless fills on the snare and rack toms. You might even hear Seattle hardcore veterans, Zeke, in the latter song. Fans of the debut record from End You will find much to admire in Lisa Mungo’s powerful belting technique behind the microphone. Her lyrics are just as fascinating: “You’d think they’d want to know me better/ For all the hands upon my body/ And not a trace of love left the next day,” she roars on ‘Nosebleed’. It’s not clear if this is a personal experience or a character perspective, but the stanzas will make your eyes blink if you listen to the music with the lyrics to hand.
What starts off as a criticism of the cult of personality in religion turns into a strange detour through loneliness and sexual curiosity by the time we get to the halfway point. It also coincides with a gear shift towards a chunkier metal sound in the final quarter, with ‘The Ritual’ delving deep into doom metal for the last thirty seconds of its existence. The only thing missing is a grindcore number to satiate the tastes of those that look beyond hardcore for their fix of audio subjugation.
They may be operating under another name, but Filth is Eternal are as ferocious as their old band and just as clever in their social awareness and social ineptitude. Album number two should be a classic if they can build on this one and expand their sound into noise rock and extreme metal territory.
Release Date: 27/08/2021
Record Label: Church Road Records
Standout tracks: Private Room, Deeper Void, The Dog
Suggested Further Listening: Thirdface – Doing It with a Smile (2021), Destroyed in Seconds – Divide and Devour (2021), End You – Aimless Dread (2021)