FILTHEATER, Tenebrae (2011, Plague)
The largest picture we have of this cover isn’t huge, but it looks like those are maggots shivering out from under the skull, having fed on the fleshy gunk left behind by the poor decomposed subject. Looking at the bigger picture, one wonders: At what temperature do maggots melt? It must be an extremely high one, and I’ve arrived at this conclusion because not only did the candles flanking the skull melt, but it appears to be so hot in there that the skull’s cheek bones turned into Richard Nixon-esque jowls. Take a look! We have not seen the likes of this before here at Big Dumb Skulls HQ, and likely will never see it again. [The Elders of the Council of the Skull have awarded a special badge of honor to Filtheater, as every single one of their releases features a skull, skulls, or a human head that’s real close to becoming a skull.]
Now this is chaotic noise-drenched death metal a guy can rock out to. I quite like this little EP, a caustic, ripping, raw 20 minutes that sort of sounds like Brutal Truth covering Nuclear Death. The drumming and overall production aesthetic resembles Brutal Truth, and the noise-factor, including riffs that sound like they were written by a tone-deaf guitarist, are evocative of my beloved Nuclear Death. The ability is here, with every member capably delivering their part of the bloodthirsty, unhinged madness. It’s clear this band truly believe in what they’re doing and their sound is more convincing than many modern-day US death metal bands content to rip off Incantation a little too closely. There’s a crust vibe in spots, and big chunks of Fiend for Blood-era Autopsy too, yet Filtheater emerges from the wreckage with a sound that, while showing its influences, is pretty much all their own. I don’t yet own anything by this band, but as soon as they compile these tape and ridiculously-limited EP releases into some sort of collection, I’m buyin’.
— Friar Wagner