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Album Review: FISTULA The Shape of Doom to Cumm)))

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Two Fistula records in one year? I’d say you’re too kind, 2016, but we all know that’s bullshit. But I’ll take any miniscule amount of goodness we can squeeze out of your black fucking heart.

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If by now if Fistula have passed you by, then a brief update: they play ye olde tyme late 80s/early 90s doom/sludge in the vein of Eyehategod and Iron Monkey spiked with the ugliness of the video nasty. Their sound is drowned in filth, plenty heavy, and is punk as hell. Both Vermin Prolificus and Longing For Infection well established this with new vocalist Dan Harrington (2012-present). And don’t let those “)))” fool you. This hasn’t got a thing to do with Sunn O))). More so, it serves as a brief joke. The last thing Fistula does is boringly drone on.

The Shape of Doom to Cumm))) kicks things off with “Serial Vapist”, a full-on hardcore/punk blast that comes and goes in under two-minutes. This note alone should be enough to tip you off to something: both albums are very similar to each other, pretty much siblings to one another. The difference being that The Shape of Doom to Cum))) often feels like the faster, punkier relative of the heavier, heftier Longing for Infection. You could even say it’s like splitting the longer tracks from the shorter tracks in Vermin Prolificus and making two albums out of it, but still not skimping on the heavy.

Though both albums are plenty hardcore/punk, as bands like Eyehategod always have been, there’s also plenty of heavy to be had here. Tracks like the re-recorded “Tough Guy” (originally from the compilation Curshers, Killers, Desteroyers II circa 2004), “Sabbath Wants to Do a Split with Me” and the final track “Negative” are all plenty heavy. “Negative” especially brings the sludgy/doom-y goodness, as a heavy as wrecking balls outro. “Sabbath Wants to Do a Split with Me” is so damn trudging and slow you’d swear everything is moving at quarter speed as the band swings a sledgehammer at your head, with it speeding up at the end.

The Shape of Doom to Cumm))) is eleven-minutes shorter than its sister album and it’s in the speed. It’s also the strength that keeps the album interesting and from being just a part 2 to Longing For Infection. Four of the tracks clock in at under four minutes and three of those tracks are pure pulverizers (“Promiscuity Ingenuity” is a bit slower). “Black Maggot” hits like blast of 80s hardcore, like a mixture of Meatmen and latter day Black Flag (not shit 2013-era, may all copies of What The… be destroyed along with those of Shaq-Fu and Kazaam). Meanwhile, “Goat Brothel” kicks in with similar attitude and could open a circle pit in your living room and is over before you know it.

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The classic case with bands and albums is that either they shouldn’t try new things and write the same album over and over again, or they should/shouldn’t change and alienate their fanbase. It’s a lose-lose situation for a lot. The Shape of Doom to Cumm))) is either solidification for some or repetition for others. I attest, the albums, to me anyway, are different. But their approach is still ugly doom/sludge with a hardcore/punk edge. Maybe you’ve been longing for some more infectious doom. Fistula have your tab right here.

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Score: 8/10

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