Fistula – Vermin Prolificus

Started an interesting conversation with the guy from the distro that sent us this today about my wife’s total dedication to doing squats.  Anyway, that’s private stuff, kind of like a fistula.  No, not the band, but what they’re named after, which is probably the worst thing that can ever happen to the human body.  Type “anal” or “perianal” before it in a search for even more fun.  Any band that would choose to name themselves after such a horrific post-infection mess needs to be a few things, but most definitely the most sludgy, grimy, filthy type of band around.  They need to play hard, while slowing down at times so your heart rate falters, then speed up, and they need to corrode your speakers.  Without these few things, and some more, there’s just no way you’d get away with titling yourselves after such a horrid medical malady as Fistula.  We first came across these guys after talking to the head of the distro/label (also vocalist from the band) that sent us this spectacular LP, Patac Records, following the awesome release of those Siege lost session recordings we reviewed a few months ago.  The actual label who released it, however, was To Live a Lie.  Anyway, so we got to chatting, heard of the name Fistula, listened to a few songs and liked it.  So he says “listen to this,” over and over, listen, listen, listen, fine send it already and then he sent it all in a sweet package that featured a sticker the wife and I were proud to put on the scooter for all to see.  Vermin Prolificus is sludge perfection, and Fistula is the embodiment of the terrible thing they choose to idol worship like a Christian gone back pagan.


Vermin Prolificus embodies all that is sludge.  It’s degraded, yet accessible, chords can weave together like pieces of offal floating loosely in a sewer, and you end up feeling like you need to take a shower after.  You scrub your body clean, but it’s deep in your soul and you claw at your chest, crying for sleep to whisk away your sin.  Fistula has a pretty classic sludge sound, nothing too much new to say about that, but its their delivery that requires our focus.  The sound is there, as well as the sample selection from obscure sources, as you’ll sometimes see in bands like Nightstick.  But that sound, oh yes that sound.  That sweet, melting sound that makes one question, is it a bass or guitar?  Have they commingled into something so awful no one without the stomach dares listen to it?  Completely, totally, and they do it with excellent style that makes vomiting enjoyable.


Vermin Prolificus has a great, thick sound to it, but also a nice balance between the slow and the fast.  Sludge can sometimes have moments where things speed to more of the level of crust or powerviolence, but yet retaining that sickening slab of nearly incomprehensible riff mud that nearly verges on grindcore, but never reaches the point of porno samples or vocals run through a million processors.  Sludge needs to play delicately on the highwire above several genres, and Fistula has it right.  Some of the tracks, like the opener, “Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails”, and title track, have more extended, quasi-doom passages with some great samples for you to fizzle over that sound like they were taken from the middle of a drug intervention (we know where they’re from, but you figure it out).  And then you have those like “Goat Brothel” that are all about smashing into people until you’ve given everyone an unhealed track of scar tissue that leaks bodily fluids (if you listened to us earlier and hit up Google that will totally make sense).  Plus, this one survives a number of listens, and at this point for this reviewer that means a total of seven.  More to come, in a variety of private contexts.  Really looking forward to whatever these guys do in the future and what the singer, and label head of Patac Records, has in store for Deaf Sparrow.  Just make sure it involves stickers in some capacity, that’s a sure way to get a review around here.


Fistula Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Fistula – Vermin Prolificus
To Live a Lie Records
4.5 / 5