Pungent Stench

Ampeauty

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Never ones to let their sometimes horrifying, sometimes tasteless (sometimes both!) subjects get in the way of a good laugh, Austrian death metal smart-guys Pungent Stench cleverly named their second post-comeback album Ampeauty. And humor, as it were, may well be Ampeauty's strongest suit throughout, as the band proceeds to drown such doomy death metal workouts as "Lynndie (She-Wolf of Abu Ghraib)," "Same Shit -- Different Asshole" and the hysterical "Got MILF?" Far from an easy gimmick, however, those lyrics merely enrich an already plentiful collection of diverse arrangements and strong riffs. Judging by his guitar tone, often circular chord-sequences, and even some solos (see "Invisible Empire" for a blatant example), one would think main man Don Cochino wants to be Wino. But that's where similarities with the American doom legend end, and where Pungent Stench's own, quite personal death metal know-how takes hold. Perhaps most notable among them is their uncanny (some might say unsettling) ability to insert evocatively mournful melodies alongside such brutal riffing and so disturbing a gamut of taboo topics -- ranging from murder, to Satan, to sex, to defecation, to, of course, amputation. And, since gruesome sound effects never did a man wrong when it comes to heavy metal, additional highlights "Apotemnophiliac" and "Fear the Grand Inquisitor" throw in the odd bit of screaming torment in for extra effect. In the end, all of the above stunts greatly help distinguish this effort -- as indeed they've helped distinguish Pungent Stench throughout their career -- from the thousands of death and doom bands out there -- and for this we are grateful.

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