Sunday 30 September 2012

Fistula - Northern Aggression (Album Review)

Fistula are a notoriously sick Sludge/Doom act from Medina, Ohio formed in 1998.

Their current line-up consists of:

Bahb - Vocals
Corey - Guitars
Sean - Bass
Nate- Drums


1. Sobriety Is Overrated - 1:29
2. The Fang - 4:09
3. Black Sunday - 1:29
4. Harmful Situation - 1:49
5. Kanker Nose - 2:39
6. Lightbulb Smoker - 5:47
7. The Spider - 1:40
8. Going Through Your Purse (Mentors cover) - 4:30 (Feat. Jesse Kling)



Fistula are currently active, having experienced a number of line-up changes throughout the years. They are a filthy class-act in the sludge arena indeed, heralding former -  as well as ex- members -  affiliated with bands such as Ultralord, Sollubi, King Travolta, Rue, 16, Trenchant, Scumchrist, Accept Death, and Sloth (US).

With the output of unique and varied sound both have to offer, the Ohio scene reminds me of the close ties members of various well known New Orleans bands have in common, often sharing the same members in any given outfit. Fistula aren't your run-of-the-mill sludgers, with their fast paced take on the genre, they would definitely appeal to crust/punk fans as well.

You get psychotic vocals, thickly layered sludge riffs, and an overall gritty sound that picks up in speed at unpredictable moments. Lyrically, their sick and indifferent attitude shines through nicely, with easily audible vocals on most tracks, and the point they are trying to convey is observable in song-title alone. Mostly dealing with topics of suffering, failure, addiction, religion and other hardships in life.


Toting their latest album 'Northern Aggression', we get everything we expect from these sick, depressed individuals. Their true-to-life lyrical nature and down-tuned, oppressive break downs attract me the most, as there is no room left for fantasy. As a special treat, they do not hesitate to rip faces with aforementioned speedy sections, rounding it off perfectly for fans of this blend.

My favorite track on this release is definitely 'Lightbulb Smoker'. For me, it is highly reminiscent of  their 'Idiopathic' days from back in 2003. A perfect mix of doom and aggression.

Two of the tracks feature Jeff Hayward (Grief) on vox and Fistula will be back in full swing with new vocalist Dan Harrington beginning with the 4-way split, 'Garage Days Retarded' 12" and the collaboration with Blowfly covering Black Sabbath.

Past works: 

If you are not already familiar with Fistula, I would recommend looking into their 'For a Better Tomorrow' and 'Burdened by Your Existence' EPs, which were put out between 2006 - '07 - the most classic choice to jam when things are feeling hopeless - thankfully, it has the opposite effect and makes me gleam with joy.

Shifty Records put out a multi-split from 2004, entitled 'Crushers Killers Destroyers!', an extremely well put together compilation featuring artists such as: Cruevo, Moho, Goatsblood, Sloth, Headache, Mugwart, Molehill, and King Travolta. This is not to be missed!

Even more useless info, but still worthy of noting: Fistula jazz it up a little bit with their two full-lengths from 2008, 'Inverted Black Star' and 'Lessons in Lamentation', which are completely different to the otherwise untainted sound we all know and love, as they are instrumental, noisy, and very droned out, like fellow experimental sludgers, Bongripper and Drug Honkey, from Chicago.

The highlight here remains 'Northern Aggression', but with my hardcore fan tendencies, I have to drone on about them in other areas, as they simply slay my fucking face off. Corey Bing, creator and mastermind behind Fistula, is a modern day lyrical genius. Thanks for your cooperation.

Fistula - Northern Aggression (2012)

Patac Records | Facebook | Bandcamp | Myspace