Review: Blood Spore – Fungal Warfare Upon All Life
Alien, Evil, Saprophytic.
Poised to disclose its hideous glory, Blood Spore is an entity that delivers lizard-brain caveman riffs in a decidedly non-caveman atmosphere. Taking the bludgeoning punishment of bands like dISEMBOWLMENT and Petrification into the alien world of bands like Portal and Blood Incantation, Blood Spore has come into a sound which reflects the concept at the core of the band.
As guitarist Luke Gary (also in Basilysk) puts it, the idea is to “focus on an ancient, sentient fungal entity and anthropomorphize it, and make it this malicious, acrimonious thing that’s been trying to destroy all life for millennia, and has been eternally at war, because it’s the decomposer. The lowest common denominator of all things that are alive is that eventually you’re gonna get decomposed or eaten by a saprophytic organism, so we took this thing and made it conscious.
“There’ve been multiple mass-extinction events where [fungus] was the only thing that survived. They fucking rule the planet, man. The largest organism on the planet is a single fungus in Oregon, ten miles across. Endoliths, which include fungi, are the oldest. They are everywhere, they have been been here longer than anything else, except for maybe archaebacteria, and they really haven’t changed much. They’re also one of the most diverse – the fungal kingdom is one of the most diverse out there.”
Luke’s riffing is somehow both satisfyingly straightforward and dizzyingly off-kilter. When he’s not methodically chugging, his shredding fits itself precisely into the nooks and crannies of what’s going on around it. He’s also able to use his background in ambient electronics to create moments of horror on an unimaginable scale.
Chris Emerson is an absolute fucking maniac. His bass-work is just as sure-footed and hard-hitting as it is in Fuck Tomb and Acolytes, and this band sees him taking on vocal and lyrical duties, roles which allow more of his unhinged-ness to flow through them. His mucous-y delivery is wide-eyed and deranged. He says of the album, “It’s evil, it’s slow and fast, and it has a caveman attitude to it that makes me want to hammer railroad spikes all day. Suggested first listens should be done after chopping 100+ logs of wood or after digging a grave”
Being a fan of God Root and Sadgiqacea, I thought I’d have some idea of what Fred would bring to the table in his drumming and vocals, but he’s really pulling different stuff out of himself for these performances, trading in the primal, ritualistic style of his other bands for something more vicious and sharp. He says of Blood Spore, “Fungus has become a bit of an obsession to me. Sometimes I fantasize about being eaten alive by demonic, spore-spewing mushroom monsters. Luke’s riffs and Chris’ Vocals really encapsulate this for me. I just look to keep the knuckles dragging and the boots stomping.”
This EP will catch you off-guard repeatedly, even after several listens. Glacially paced funeral dirges turn into single-foot-blasting death-thrash on a dime. Seemingly interminable riff-smackdowns open up and breathe. Throughout all the places this album goes, it remains unpredictable. All three of these guys have clearly come into this with well-honed senses of dynamics. What was originally supposed to be a simple demo release has morphed into a collection-worthy EP in its own right.
Having seen them play at their first and – as of this writing – only show, it comes through loud and clear that these cats are having a fucking blast hitting this big, ugly riffs over your head. I look forward to seeing what the process of recording this thing has done for their live set, and, further down the road, what they’ll cook up for their first full-length.