“My god what the hell is with that album art?” You may ask. That is actually the same head split into two pieces before being positioned to face one another – still want to hear about the music? This art is kind of the way that the Austrian assailants, Pungent Stench look at death metal; it is just plain weird and all around crushing. While being from the first wave in Europe, this band clearly stood out with their very strong sense of humour as you will see with the upcoming song titles as well as the oddity of the album’s name, Been Caught Buttering. This 1991 sophomore release is, much like the album art a sight to behold.
Beginning with a homage to Jack The Ripper, we have “Shrunken and Mummified Bitch”; which starts off with a typical death metal buzz and opens the door to an album full of odd and horrific lyrical images. “Bitches is what he hates, sluts is what he rapes, Ripper is his name, killing is his sick game.” The lack of English as a first language is obvious but it adds to more of the odd macabre style of humour employed by the band here. The slowed down sections add an immense evil sound to the band as their pound through many a drum before the end of the song as well.
Everybody’s favourite death metal birthday song is next in the form of “Happy Re-Birthday”. This song takes the perspective from a zombie who almost seems to have feelings; a rare vision indeed. What also becomes apparent about a minute into the song is the band’s influence from 70′s hard rock and proto-metal as the section feels as though it was borrowed from Black Sabbath or to be more contemporary, Sleep. The band flip flops between death metal buzz and hard rock riffs and is as schizophrenic as the band members themselves appear to be.
“Games Of Humiliation” is back to the death metal business but not before they touch on some slight doomy sections; including more Sabbath love. The song here is mostly about sexual deviancy and the lyrics depict quite vile actions being inflicted on others: “I’ll torture, I’ll hit – Cry in ecstasy – Needles through your nipples to get them stiff – Weight on your genitals make your cunt foamy and hot.” Oh yes those are the actual lyrics, more and more odd as they continue this sexual encounter, that would even make Carpathian Forest blush. “S.M.A.S.H” comes in next, blasting down the doors as the drums become an aural attack, and the riffs explode in fast succession making this a potent death metal barn burner.
“Brainpan Blues” has plenty of buzz to fuel the band as they change their pace throughout the entire song. The song’s lyrics describe a serial killer with no remorse for whom there is nary a day without murder; this feels like the stuff your mother used to warn you about, yet at the end of the day this was never meant to be taken seriously and it goes by in a flash. Returning to zombie lore we have “And Only Hunger Remains” which describes the atrocious acts committed by these monsters.”They’re able to crunch a thighbone – It seems that they don’t know compassion – Because they would even assault A 3 year old girl in a wheelchair.” Strange indeed, but easy to get that picture in your twisted mind, isn’t it? The tempo here is mid-paced much like the feet dragging beings they have so well depicted.
“Sputter Supper” takes the viewpoint from a wholesome family of cannibals and the main riff is as infectious as is the happy attitude of the protagonist when he realizes that his neighbour is in the pan as “He tastes good!”; this is wholesome 50′s America gone completely wrong. My personal favourite track on the entire album is “Sick Bizarre Defaced Creation” which is a song about a hermaphrodite and various other oddities; with each verse dealing with another deformed being the description of one of those people is “You got a big cock but a pussy too – Not man, not woman, they say hermaphrodite to you.” On the music side of things the odd bass sections should be of note as well as, and I’m not kidding; a funk break. The band goes completely funky towards the very end; as if this band needed to pull out any more stops to impress and weird us out?
Ending on the notes of “Splatterday Night Fever” we see the other side of the night life as the band describes various venereal diseases in excruciating detail. “His foreskin is a pitted flap… musty scrap,The bitch he fucked the day before was only for one night, Not more! Now he’s pissing blood.” Not to mention visiting the local red light district and plenty of whores for the taking. The song grinds along in gross glee and is a pounding death metal shotgun blast; quite unlike the dripping gonorrhea penis the song so violently reminds you of. The in between riffs are very horror oriented and would surely be something you would think of if this had actually happened to you. Thus ends a vile album and not something for the weak of stomach to handle.
Pungent Stench are no strangers to the odd and gross, yet the band was never able to regain the power that this album holds as this was their standalone classic; their first album For God Your Soul…For Me Your Flesh was a death metal album; a good one at that, yet it lacked the lyrical and musical pizzazz of this follow up.
So, 22 years later this album holds up very well and can be used to diversify your death metal collection and show that the genre isn’t just made for the sake of pure brutality – it has a cold black rotting heart chock full of disease too. Feel free to drop me a comment about a band you’d like to see covered, or just leave one as a sign of good faith. For what I’m currently listening to you can always check out my Last.fm page. Stay gross and check out a band involved with the members of this band and a few more.