Filthy, scarred and rabid, the blood-thirsty beast annihilated the gates of the fortress, ready to kill. Throughout its years in this plane of existence, its taken shots from nearly all directions. Around every corner, through every single doorway, it has always found a threat to its vision, a trap to ensnare its conquest. Yes, the beast’s enemies have continued in a virtual flood of barbed attacks, but it has stayed the course. It’s eyes blazing with the flames of ravenous hunger and the need to eliminate all threats, the beast has torn through the instigators of an unending, unjust witch-hunt in a manner tantamount to the way a gleaming razor slices raw flesh. The years have passed and the beast has grown stronger. So, now here it is, returning to take back its legacy and feast upon the hearts of the opposition. Frothing with arrogance, the attackers have thrown every sword and stone they had in the beast’s direction, laughing maniacally with the belief that they would take it down and celebrate with its head on a stake. And their goal was in sight, at least for a second. Breathless and bloodied, the beast fell to its belly on the battle-scarred soil. The enemy mob, quick to assume victory, turned their backs on the fallen foe and ignorantly thought this was a reason to celebrate with wine and wenches. However, as they paraded away from their collapsed rival, none of them saw the gleam still furiously shimmering in the eye of the beast. None of them gave notice to the murderous pulse still pounding in its veins. None of them knew what anguish and terror was about to be inflicted upon their very souls within the cold, deathly grip…of the dreaded Fistula!

Spawned from the bowels of Cleveland, Ohio in 1998, the frenzied sludge monstrosity known as Fistula now features former Anal Cunt drummer, Nate Linehan and Steve Barcas of King Fire Goat fame. With core members Corey Bing and Bahb Branca, the newest additions combine to form one hell of a monster, fuelled by the blissfully violent inspiration of such notables as Eyehategod and Celtic Frost.

As the band’s latest assault on mankind, Loser (PATAC Records) is a devastatingly solid EP from start to finish. Fusing together gritty, plodding sludge (as found on album opener, (“Picking Up Chicks”) with the faster, grinding chaos of numbers like “I’m Glad Nate’s Not In A.C.” and the Venom-esque speed demon-turned-lumbering juggernaut that is “The Hounds”, Fistula have delivered the goods throughout. The seething “Mutant Tooth” kicks it into warp speed in breakneck d-beat fashion before diving once again into the grim depths of the band’s brand of sludge despair. Being the longest track on Loser and clocking in at a little over seven minutes, “Coma Forever” stays the course of doom-tinged destruction with low growls and raw-throated vocals intact.

To talk too much about the six tracks found on Loser could spoil some of the fun for everyone. With this EP, the band has captured the sound of merciless degradation in glaring, horrifically pleasing clarity. Haunting at times, violent and deadly at others, Loser is the sound of sanity crumbling to dust. The sound of the death knell ringing in our ears. If what “they” say is true…if the end is truly near, then these guys will quite possibly be playing the farewell party. The record’s title must surely be a nod to the band’s detractors, because Fistula are most definitely winning the battle!!