Track by Track: Feculent – ‘The Grotesque Arena’

Feculent band photo

If you closely follow what I premiere at Decibel, you’ll notice patterns with certain labels and genres I favor. But one pattern that sticks out is Feculent being the third project I’ve highlighted involving Brendan Auld (Black Blood Audio) in the past 15 months. Snorlax and Resin Tomb were both killer albums with nearly impenetrable heaviness. But new death metal project Feculent brings even more suffocating filth to accompany their putrid name. The album was recently unleashed on vinyl through Brilliant Emperor Records, while Caligari Records handled the cassette. We invited Feculent to describe the themes and musical influences of their The Grotesque Arena debut with a track by track breakdown. Scroll down and read thoughts from the band about shitty people and which bands they consider some of the dirtiest in death metal.

Press play and succumb to Feculent’s septic assault.

“The Grotesque Arena: Upon Splintered Bone”

“This was written about bad faith entities with ambitious agendas using the victims of public tragedies as symbolic avatars and unofficial martyrs to further their causes, manipulate people and preach to the already brainwashed. As for the music, Brendan wrote this song on guitar and drums before the inception of the band. This song was constructed under the influence of some really filthy bands like Knelt Rote and Pissgrave. This song laid out the main format for the rest of the writing process on this EP. Great efforts were made to keep all the momentum of the faster songs constantly intense without having to rely on skank beats to fill in the gaps. The only gears we wanted to use were pummeling brute force and a conservative amount of slow, weighted doom riffs to mix things up.”

“Host Consumed”

“[This song] is about predatory types. Those who see the world, consciously or not, as a landscape full of opportunities to defraud, fuck over and suck others dry. Whether it be interpersonally, in business or through an institution. This is reflected in the music as well, having intentionally catchy riffs spliced between aggressive death metal to give a sense of false reality.”

“Weaponization of the Amygdala: Endless Warfare”

“Track 3 conceptually ties back to the theme of the first song and the over-arching theme of the album. Lyrically, this hones in on our lizard brain reactions and worst impulses being cynically harnessed by corrupt forces and powers. Instrumentally, this song has so much crammed into it I can’t even remember why we took such a dynamic shift half way through the song. It’s one of our favorites to play though because the first chorus is so catchy with the broken-up blast beats.”

“A Pit of Unscalable Depths”

“This song is about the mire of being interpersonally entwined with an empty yet all-consuming abyss of a person, and the depths you’ll sink to if you don’t escape. This ties in well with the music as the first riffs give a sense of being chased or dragged down into a pit, continually building until the final progression offers a more blackened perspective musically.”

“Beneath Bedlam”

“This song is about parasites that feed off hysteria, societal decay and tragedy because they subconsciously enjoy it and like to make it all about them. Being the only slow song on the record meant we could fully indulge in making this one sound as crushing and depraved as we wanted. Bands like Innumerable Forms and Primitive Man do this style really well and that’s what we wanted to put forward. It makes for a great contrast between all the death metal.”

“The Grotesque Arena: A Perverse Spectacle”

This song again ties back to the record’s overall theme while continuing with the topics touched on in ‘Beneath Bedlam.” It also aims to put a spotlight on those pointing fingers while their noses are blocked to the stench of their own hypocrisy, and while their eyes are blind to all the ways they contribute to the rot in the world they so adamantly campaign against. This was one of the first songs Brendan [Auld, drummer] and Kaleb [Doherty, guitar] wrote together, challenging themselves to write something intentionally doom-infused with most of the real estate still being heavy elements of death metal. This felt like the most appropriate song to close with as it finished with a reinforcing double kick section over the last riff, and of course the menacing outro.”

Order Feculent on vinyl from Brilliant Emperor Records HERE

Order Feculent on cassette from Caligari Records HERE

Follow Feculent for news and updates on Facebook HERE

Feculent - The Grotesque Arena album cover