Review: Fumigation – Integrated Pest Management (2013) FumigationIntegrated Pest Management
  1. Craniofacial Duplication
  2. Fleshlight Castration
  3. Pediculosis (Mommy, I Have Lice)
  4. Entomophagy
  5. Methyl Bromide Poisoning
  6. Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite
  7. Evacuate the Hive
  8. Rodenticide Torture
  9. The Lick of Carnivorous Caterpillars
  10. Vanier Shack (Roach Motel)

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Date : 2013/08/20

It has the guts and the glory, but it ain’t a Ram; Integrated Pest Management, Ottawa’s Fumigation first album, is rather the guts under the wheels of the truck… Like a shady exterminator, Fumigation’s death metal gets under your skin and squirts its killing juice until all bugs are squished to silence, until all crawling things lay idle, and until the sticky fluids are all that remain – and the service comes with a corporate smile.

Visceral and colourful are two words that come to my mind when describing this album. The zombie gloating on a dismembered rodent on the cover artwork is a good indicative of the content: 50% gore, 50% cartoon, and 100% brutal death metal (and yes, the total is 200%). The tongue-in-cheek theme of Fumigation is both original and refreshing, and sets them apart from other bands in the genre. Titles such as “Pediculosis (Mommy, I Have Lice)”, “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite” or “The Lick of Carnivorous Caterpillars” are cases in point. On that note, it would have been a good idea to include the lyrics in the album, in order to taste the full flavour of this creepy universe. It is also sad that the release, on CDN Records, was done in a jewel case format and that the layout, originally designed for a digipak, was so poorly adapted.

Fumigation’s music stands somewhere in the realm of Cannibal Corpse’s brand of extreme death metal, although it integrates many choppy grooves, breakdowns, and other tricks to catch our attention. The textures are particularly delicious, especially those applied to the guitars. Like a hypersensitive sensor, the recording captured the full saturated grain of the distortion and the slipping fingers on the guitars’ neck, and presented it in the mix like layers of itchiness under a heavy metal armor; it’s omnipresent although you can’t really notice it. The bass has the merit of following that same approach, and uses a very dirty overbass on a distinct metallic sound. The vocalist does an excellent job at vomiting all bowels into the microphone [insert mental image of organic chunks here], as brutally as possible. While I really enjoy the overall production (Dan Rogers / From the Frost Audio), I find the drum a tad too clean and overproduced, with the consequence that it doesn’t quite stick to the rest of the mix.

Integrated Pest Management comes as a quick and dirty palette of death metal: there are the death metal grooves (“Craniofacial Duplication”), plenty of chops and guitar squeals (“Fleshlight Castration”, “Methyl Bromide Poisoning”), the more complex songs (“Pediculosis”, “The Lick of Carnivorous Caterpillars”), the short and fast song (“Entomophagy”), the slower one (“Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite”), the noisy instrumental (“Evacuate the Hive”), the experimental UFO (“Vanier Shack”), atmospheric lead guitar parts and a choir of brutal vocals (with a selection of the finest neanderthal guests); all that poured into an organic selection of 10 songs. What’s even more interesting is that the musicians are well known on the Ottawa metal scene: the two guitarists (Hansen and MacIvor) are also playing in Signs of Chaos and the singer (Dugal) is a member of Accursed Creation. Overall, Fumigation’s musicianship is very good, and Integrated Pest Management offers an excellent 36 minutes of high entertainment.

Check it out.

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