Citizens of Arkham, beware, for the undiscriminating portals to the cosmic nether has summoned another pesky anti-creation to raze your insignificant little town. With a band logo as inscrutable and impossible as the most obtuse of eldritch horrors, Blood Spore has crashed onto the American Death Metal scene like a meteor from the outer rims of unfathomable space with their debut project, Fungal Warfare Upon All Life. Focusing on the shroomy specimens of Lovecraft’s universe as opposed to his more popular underwater creatures, the quartet peddles in a particularly damp and moist form of Doom/Death suitable to their subject matter.
Lurching threateningly out of a shadowy vale close to your childhood home, “Hostile Fruiting Bodies” slobs, gushes and rushes like the most repulsive of Lovecraftian slime. Moving from grimy Doom to brisk elephantine stomps to tremolo riffs buzzing like fat flies around withering crops, the track presents a survey of everything the subgenre Doom/Death has going for it in 2020. Swaddled in a warm and musty production, the opener succeeds in introducing the listener to the fetid world, but fails to plant its mycelia firmly in his/her cerebral cortex.
“Cede to the Saprophyte” goes further in its scene-setting, chiming and clanging like murky invocations in the midst of a hilltop stone circle. The band manages to introduce a certain gothic melodiousness to the ceremony without wandering too far from their Death Metal habitat, deepening the atmosphere. As the bass snakes around the guitar like a purple tentacle from an unseen and unwanted void, the vocals are layered in an overwhelming manner, heightening the sense of foreboding. The track one-ups the preceding one significantly, pulling the listener further into the sickening mythos of Lovecraft.
The lyrics do not try to hide their allegiance to the mysterious H.P, painting a world in familiar, nauseating greens, even including references to specific stories in his canon. “Apex Colony” is both the final track on the EP and the most substantial one. Depicting a humanity as doomed as can be, the track has an urgency to its first minutes that proves riveting. Spewing out choppy riffs and infectious beats, the band comes together nicely, stretching their fingers towards greatness in unison. After a mid-song dirge as slow and revolting as Yog-Sothoth waltzing with a limp, the track unfortunately segues into vague riff-soup in its latter half, concluding the EP on a weak and less than horrifying note.
Blood Spore’s dedication to the creepy craft of our favourite gloomy curmudgeon is undoubtedly passionate, and Fungal Warfare Upon All Life is an oftentimes enjoyable toe-dipping into a thick and pungent pond of iridescent puke. With a more varied vocal attack and some slightly more distinctive ideas, the full-length (that hopefully is on its way) should very well be worthy of your attention. If you need some sonic slime to further soggify your next read-through of The Dunwich Horror, then paste this piece of rotten tofu to your vinyl player and savour the sickly odour emanating from the speaker.