REPUGNANT, Hecatomb (1999, To The Death)
Small, but feisty, this little guy looks a bit cracked up and leers dumbly at you with his one eye. While the Council ordinarily disqualifies skulls that are obviously a part of a larger skeleton, the tiny fragment of spine, unencumbered by shoulder blades or any other bony bits, was found to not distract from the centrality of the skull. Considering the emptiness of the cover, it is felt that the skull could have been bigger, but since “hecatomb” originally meant the sacrificial slaughter of 100 cattle, the dumbness of this singular skull compensated for its meager smallness.
Formed in 1998, Repugnant more or less labored in obscurity, but if they had been formed a decade earlier, they would have been immediately signed to Earache, sounding as they do on this EP like a cross between Nihilist and Terrorizer (in their less blasty moments), with dashes of early Death and Celtic Frost. Considering how well worn this territory was then and continues to be, Repugnant pull it off with striking conviction and integrity. The production is raw, and certainly evocative of the era Hecatomb means to recall, but it’s also not off-puttingly retro or lo-fi. The drumming is lively and competent in a modern sense, without affecting the old-school sound of the beats. Amusingly, singer and guitarist Mary Goore was also in the retro sleaze metal act Crashdïet, which shows that as a heavy metal nostalgia hound, his tastes run the gamut. As long as the style is outdated, he’s into it.
— Friar Johnsen