According to the internet, New Jersey’s state logo is “Liberty and Prosperity” when really it should be “Land of Contradictions.” Home to some of the nation’s richest and poorest people, arable farmland and concrete per capita, overdeveloped network of highways and shittiest drivers, quietest streets and loudest people, Putrascension continues the state’s wild juxtapositions with their blackened second wave storm that sounds like it could come barrelling out of ‘90s Oslo as much as it could around the corner from Tony Soprano’s place. Today, we present for your listening pleasure a streaming sample of the newest batch of songs that band has gathered for the purposes of their second EP. As well, we talk to drummer Justin Spaeth (also of Tombs, Hammer Fight, Kalopsia and Abacinate) to get the lowdown on Dirty Jersey’s newest entry to the black metal sweepstakes.
What can you divulge about the band’s history?
The band started out with our guitarist Dan [Higgins] and I started jamming one day. We’ve been in Hammer Fight together for several years and we’d been talking about doing something black metal-ish for a long time, but nothing ever happened. He just had a boatload of riffs ready to go, we just started jamming one about a year ago, in 2019, and turned it into an actual project. We brought in a couple other guys from a black metal band from the area called Degrader and Mike [Gonçalves], who does vocals for a band called Windfaerer and also plays bass and vocals in Replicant.
So, is this more of a project people are doing between their other bands?
Kind of, yeah, but we want to do more and play out when we can. For most of us it’s kind of like a side thing but we’re all really excited about the material we’re putting together. We have nine or ten songs recorded and we’re going to put out another three-song EP this month which we’re thinking of calling it The Age of Rust, but that could change. [Note: It did. As you should be aware, the EP is called The Obsidian Fog]
What does Putrascension offer for you that you don’t get with the many other bands you play in?
For me, I feel like we’re all on the same page. We wanted to come up with some songs that were super-catchy and melodic, but evil and heavy at the same time. That’s exactly what came out of it and I’m having a really fucking fun time playing these songs with these guys. We all live in the same area, so I see them a lot more than I do my other band members. We do rehearse a lot more, have good chemistry and work together really well. We keep in touch a lot and are bouncing ideas off each other all the time. Also, we make shit happen pretty quickly, I think. Someone will have idea, we get it together pretty quickly and it comes out awesome after everyone adds their own twist on things. I think what I enjoy most about being in Putrascension is that old feeling of building something new from the ground up. It’s been a long time since I have played in a band that I was a founding member of, I almost forgot what it’s like. Dan and I had been talking about doing this for years, and I’m glad it finally came to life with all the sickest dudes possible. Plus, I have been doing the recording and mixing and have been having a lot of fun with that.
What can you tell us about the songs we’re premiering here today?
We had a theme with the first EP and I think it’s going to be a recurring theme: a lot of the lyrical themes are about how New Jersey is kind of like a disgusting wasteland of trash [laughter]. A land that used to be such a beautiful place and now there’s so much industrial shit going on and nastiness and pollution and human garbage. That’s generally the main theme.
Are you prepared for blowback from people who may not share your opinion of New Jersey?
Well, it’s not that we hate New Jersey; we love it! We’ve all lived here our whole lives and it’s home. It’s just a way for us to reflect on how the world changes over time. I guess we’ll be prepared for that. What’s not to love about Jersey? You could think that’s it’s a horrible place, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
The Obsidian Fog is also available on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Play and all other streaming outlets as well as Spaeth’s own Cave Bound Media.
And if you’re in Dirty Jersey on the 28th of this month, Putrascenscion will be making their live debut, opening for Tombs at the Brighton Bar.