Neuntoter – Stench to Stench

Compiling and releasing obscure Spanish 90’s metal on nice looking archival CDs is a fine tradition of Dave Rotten and Xtreem Music. The latest effort on this mission of cultural preservation is a disc containing the two official demos of the band Neuntoter – Slaughter from 1990 and Consummated in gore from 1991. There are also a bunch of live bonus tracks, and overall it’s a pretty massive collection of music. It was released today, and is entitled Stench to Stench.

Neuntoter, who was formed in 1988 and split up in 1993, played extremely dirty, primitive grind/death. Bands worth mentioning to give a hint of what this is about would be early Napalm Death and Carcass, though certain midpaced and slower passages recalls Swedish 90’s death metal as well. Also there’s tiny traces of punk, but not so much in the actual riffing or even attitude, but rather in the sometimes very simplistic power chord progressions.
Most songs contain similar elements – some death metal leads and/or riffs, some simpler riffing of a slightly more diffuse genre, and regular outbursts of blast beats. The latter always remain controlled, though, and there’s very little of the non-melodic noisiness of purer grindcore acts. Overall, there is a certain amateurishness, but in a good way. For quite some time now, most death metal releases tend towards cleaner sound, and they are usually preformed by bands with long experience who prioritize being tight. This time machine of recording history really offers an alternative view of what death metal can be like.

The first fifteen tracks, the full content of the Consummated in Gore demo, are the main attraction here. The older, and far shorter, Slaughter begins with the theme music from the film Reanimator, and then moves on to two tracks of what must be described as “proto-death metal”. It’s cool, and almost experimental in a weird way, but it’s not particularly good. The last 10 tracks are various live recordings, including covers of Napalm Death and Obituary. The sound quality is raw, to say the least, and there’s a lot of Spanish conversation going on near the microphone doing the recording, but it’s still interesting as historical documentation.

The project of re-releasing old Spanish extreme metal is truly a work for the benefit of posterity, and should be encouraged by all means. For example by purchasing this fascinating look into an old, Spanish death/grind band. It is available on CD from Xtreem Music’s webshop, and also for digital download from the label’s Bandcamp.

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