Tuesday 22 February 2022

Sewer Fiend - Echoes From The Cistern

Labels: Black Legion Records/Dry Cough Records/Sewer Rot Records/Obliteration Records

Formats: Tape/Digital/CD

Release Date: 30 Jun 2021


1. Writhing In Stagnant Water

2. Pulsating Mass Of Worms

3. Echoes From The Cistern

I'm getting back round to reviewing another tape I've had for a while. Echoes From The Cistern, the debut EP from Manchester, UK death/doom band Sewer Fiend, was released in mid-2021. It saw the light day via UK label Dry Cough Records and US label Sewer Rot Records, who both released their own tape versions. It proved very popular and was given the repress treatment after the original run sold out, before later being picked up for a run of tapes in South America via Peruvian label Black Legion Records. The band features members from Cryptic Shift, Slimelord and previously of UK thrash band Exiled, to name a few.

The duo of John Riley (bass) and Sam Robinson (vocals and guitar) make up Sewer Fiend and they’re joined on Echoes From The Cistern by drummer David Lanas. What they deliver as a unit is murky death/doom with thrash and melody thrown in too. EP opener ‘Writhing In Stagnant Water’ shows off the bizarre and original sound of Sewer Fiend in a way that I wan’t expecting. The vocals are made up of typically gnarly old-school growls and the low-end/percussion both read from the doom/death blueprint, but it’s the melodic guitar work that sets a different tone. More akin to Voivod (maybe) and more experimental/cosmic death metal bands like Skelethal or Blood Incantation.

Though I’ve tried with the above comparisons, they don’t do Sewer Fiend justice. ‘Pulsating Mass Of Worms’ is more urgent in tempo yet is equally as progressive too, but not in a noodling way. I guess using the term avant-garde would be a bit too much. Either way, it’s not the gutter-crawling death metal that you might have expected, if you were completely new to the band.

It’s left to the sprawling title-track ‘Echoes From The Cistern’ to provide a suffocating end to the EP. Suffocation was probably a slightly misleading term to use though, as Sewer Fiend’s groove is put to full effect on a song that at times is the slowest of the three here. The vocals are used more sparingly, with the instrumentation taking the reins for the majority, making it a much more mesmeric listen.

It’s amazing to see and hear the amount of variation that currently exists within the death metal genre at the moment. Each country seems to have it’s own take on the sound and the UK is starting to truly excite those who enjoy the murmurings coming from the underground. Sewer Fiend are only just beginning, but what a Start!

You can stream and purchase Echoes From The Cistern via bandcamp below:-

Sewer Fiend - https://www.instagram.com/sewer_fiend_dm/

Tape copies have long since sold out from both Dry Cough Records and Sewer Rot Records, but you can still buy copies from Black Legion Records via the link below:-


There will also be a CD release coming in late-March 2022 via Japanese label Obliteration Records.

Black Legion Records - https://www.facebook.com/blacklegionrecs

Dry Cough Records - https://www.facebook.com/DryCoughRecords

Sewer Rot Records - https://www.facebook.com/sewerrotrecords

Obliteration Records - https://www.facebook.com/obliterationrecords

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