Review Summary: A unique and fun death metal album from the early 90’s that has unfortunately been largely forgotten
Hot off the trails of their first album, For God Your Soul…
, Pungent Stench release the best album of their career and create their own niche in the death metal community. Featuring both gory an humorous lyrics combined, Been Caught Buttering
doesn’t fall into the trap of taking itself particularly seriously like some other gore-centric bands do. However, like many gross-out albums of its kind, the cover for this album is a real photo. This time, the photo is one of a head that has been cut in half vertically and arranged to look as though each half was kissing the other. While this is utterly disgusting, it’s not without its humor when put into the context of Pungent Stench and while some may call this a joke album, that would do a disservice to the music contained within.
While not dissimilar to their previous album, the guitars and bass on Been Caught Buttering
have an appropriately raw and crunchy tone for an album . Some may dislike this dirty tone, but the filthiness fits with the style of music Pungent Stench is going for on this album. While the tone may be a drawback for some, the guitar playing is one of the highlights of this album. Its strange, unorthodox, and sets itself apart from the herd of death metal bands emerging in the early 90s. While some tracks like “Smash” are typical death metal, others like “Sick Bizarre Defaced Creation” have oddball, almost psychedelic passages. An interesting facet of this playing is showcased on the two longest tracks, “And Only Hunger Remains” and “Games Of Humiliation”. While this album has lots of quick playing, these two songs slow down the pace almost to doom levels. These songs keep the album from becoming stale and sounding the same throughout.
While not being particularly well done, the drumming is at least competent enough to not cause any issues. Drummer Alex Wank AKA Rector Stench sticks mainly to double bass drumming along with faster punk inspired drumming akin to bands like Entombed and Asphyx The vocals combined with the lyrics are something to be cherished though. With lyrical themes ranging from a son crawling back into his mother's womb to a song about various BDSM scenes, the lyrics that singer/guitarist Martin Shirenc growls are entirely stupid and enjoyable at the same time. The vocals themselves are in between a low growl and a yell. This allows the lyrics to be relatively easy to make out if one wishes.
While this album doesn’t try to innovate or change the classic death metal formula, it does show what a fun death metal album should be. If you are a fan of old school death metal and can find the humor in the gory lyrics then this album is definitely one to check out.