From the decaying flesh-infested hole in the Earth full of the grimiest forms of extreme metal comes Blood Spore, one that combines many different genres into one swampy pool of slop. Taking formation in 2018 from Philadelphia, they’re spewing up their first EP titled Fungal Warfare Upon All Life. A fitting title, as the three songs on this cast no pleasant imagery, drawing them out to excruciating lengths. Death metal, black metal, and doom metal mold themselves together to form the nesting place of this hybrid of sounds.
The slower, doom backbone is what holds everything afloat here. “Cede To The Saprophyte” rings in steady drum kicks behind gut-wrenching doom riffs that are drawn out to painful degrees. I had to look up what “saprophyte” meant, but finding that it was a plant or organism that feeds on decaying matter made it feel so fitting. The chugs progress and egress throughout the bulk of the run-time, before exploding into a blistering outro.
“Hostile Fruiting Bodies” proceeds that track, making it easier to work your way in. Death metal rhythms make up a larger part of that, especially with the center of the song implementing solid riffs with a steadier feel that have a bit of a groove. Vocally, the entire EP resides on the black metal side of things. Hoarse and ear-splitting screeches and shrieks drench everything, making it feel even muckier than it already is. That didn’t sit as well with me since it’s not a style I dig, but it was fitting nonetheless.
Closer “Apex Colony” comes in at almost ten minutes, combining every approach from the first two tracks into one dense whole. The horrid execution of Fungal Warfare Upon All Life is exactly what I imagine the band had in mind. But I have to admit that after about halfway through, I lose interest. Part of that is chalked up to my bias of disliking black metal. I do think that the level that this gets drawn out is also a tad over the edge, though. The closer track has way too much rehash of the same thing, which was done to a good-enough degree in “Saprophyte.”
Regardless, there is a bloodthirsty crowd of extreme metal mutants out there that would love every bit of this. I can’t deny the impressive level of filth Blood Spore managed to pack into only three songs, but after several listens, I can’t see myself coming back to it. If nothing else, this gives a good idea of where the band might go with a full-length.
Fungal Warfare Upon All Life will be released on February 28th, 2020 through Blood Harvest Records. Find yourself a vinyl, CD, or cassette copy, and hear it digitally over on the Bandcamp page.