Noothgrush Erode the Person

There’s an old country music adage: if you play a country song backwards you’ll get your girlfriend, your truck and your dog back. Do the same with Noothgrush, however, and you’ll be even more depressed than when you started. Considered the companion piece of Slap-A-Ham’s Failing Early, Failing Often collection, Erode the Person is the second volume from this esteemed yet inactive Bay area sludge band. Compiled from various out-of-print vinyl and tour-only releases, this album is total hate doom with reasonably few fast parts like Grief or prog-ish parts like Cavity or jazz, groovy passages like Eyehategod. "A People Defeated Will Never Be United,” "Flee from Hunger & Disease” and "Made Uncomfortable by Others Pain” are slow, calculated paeans of despair, while "Diseased Mammal,” "Deterioration” and "Stagnance” spotlight the slow-mo superiority of drum goddess Chiyo Nukaya. First released on the Failing Early comp, "Oil Removed” is expanded by two minutes and boasts a cleaner, catchier performance vibe. The ten-minute title track is a career highlight of down-tuned depravity, as is the epic "Draize,” with its (old) Electric Wizard doom template. "Starvation” recalls the plodding grandeur of early Cathedral and all the songs meld together so seamlessly that it’s hard to believe they weren’t recorded in one session. Erode the Person proves that Noothgrush are too vital to the genre to remain dormant. (Throne)