The Porcelain Throne: Pungent Stench

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The Porcelain Thone is on a roll with guest submissions. TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs is back again with an excellent brutal addition to the series. 

If there has ever been a band worthy of being featured on a site called “The Toilet Ov Hell,” it is Pungent Stench. While they may not be the heaviest or most brutal musicians to ever grace the annals of death metal, their lyrical content, a nauseating catalog of gore, necrophilia, misanthropy, and every sort of sexual deviancy (with lethal doses of black humor), could have easily originated in a shit smeared latrine in the bleakest pit in all of Hades. Nowadays mostly remembered for their use of Joel-Peter Wilkin photography (who inspired one of the best music videos of all time) in their album covers, as well as being the only band with big enough balls to open for Type O Negative on a European tour back when the Brooklyn band was being targeted by leftist radicals due to unfounded accusations of Nazism (Birmingham thrashers Cerebral Fix bailed on the eve of the tour). The Austrian trio produced some of the most varied and underrated death metal out there. With a body of work that ranges from d-beat influenced primitive death metal to catchy death ’n’ roll à la Wolverine Blues, Pungent Stench was never afraid to inject many different influences into their sound. And while the original band is sadly no more, they left us with five albums, each one a compelling listen for its own reasons.

Formed in Vienna in late 1987, the band was started by Martin “Don Cochino” Schirenc on guitar and vocals and Alex “Rector Stench” Wank on drums, both former members of a thrash band called Carnage (not to be confused with Sweden’s Carnage, feat. Mike Amott). Joined the following year by bassist Jacek Perkowski, the band traveled to England where they planned to record a professional demo. Those plans were scrapped, however, when the band received an offer from Nuclear Blast. After releasing a successful split for the label with fellow Austrian iconoclasts and rap metal pioneers Disharmonic Orchestra, the band proceeded to record their debut full length.

For God Your Soul… For Me Your Flesh (1990)

Haphazardly recorded on a shoestring budget and produced mostly by the band members themselves, For God Your Soul… For Me Your Flesh, despite its shoddy performances, crusty sound, and questionable mix (the often off-tempo drums are too high), is an excellent fix for any old school death metal craving. While featuring little of the diversity of later releases, Pungent Stench’s debut is not short on enjoyable moments, from the intense guitar and bass solo tradeoffs of “Extreme Deformity” to the ominous doom metal leanings of the title track, to the whirlwind of blast beats and tremolo picking that comprises “Embalmed in Sulfuric Acid”.


Been Caught Buttering (1991)

Often hailed as the band’s masterpiece, Been Caught Buttering is a major sonic improvement over its predecessor. While still far from pristine sounding, both the performance and the mixing are far more professional. Opening with the standard issue death metal of arguably the band’s most popular song, “Shrunken and Mummified Bitch,” the band’s sophomore effort saw many new ideas introduced to their sound. “Happy Re-Birthday” features call-and-response growled verses that could easily act as a precursor to Exhumed’s celebrated set closer “Matter Of Splatter.”  Perkowski graces “Sick Bizarre Defaced Creation” with some funky Primus-esque bass slapping. “Games of Humiliation” crawls forth like Forest of Equilibrium era Cathedral, before giving way to a sweet classical guitar jam. And “Splatterday Night Fever” is a riff-tastic cautionary tale on the dangers of venereal diseases.


Club Mondo Bizarre – For Members Only (1994)

Released three years after their previous full-length, Club Mondo Bizarre – For Members Only saw the band toning down their death metal roots considerably, adopting a more melodic, bluesy, midtempo sound. Schirenc’s vocals shift away from death growls towards something akin to a Max Cavalera-esque shout (the elitists labeled them sell-outs, but I’m hard-pressed to call Schirenc making his vomitous lyrics more intelligible a sell out move). “Klyster Boogie,” with its groovy start-stop riffs and “yeah” peppered chorus is a song that White Zombie would have happily traded an entire warehouse full of schlocky album artwork for. “Choked for Just a Joke,” with its brilliant staccato opening riff, is perhaps what Machine Head could have accomplished if Robb Flynn had devoted himself to make something worthwhile out of the Burn My Eyes blueprint instead of chasing fads and attention-whoring on social media. The southern fried blues of “I’m a Family Man” could have made the Austrians very popular in the NOLA scene. “In Search of the Perfect Torture” is Pungent Stench showing those brats in Disturbed and Godsmack how the fuck melodic heavy rock is done. And “Rape – Pagar Con La Misma Moneda” is a sweet death ‘n’ roll tune urging all female victims of sexual abuse to inflict retribution in the most gruesome way possible (“All raped women should get their revenge / Kill those motherfuckers, says Pungent Stench” and this writer agrees).


Masters of Moral – Servants of Sin (2001)

Pungent Stench broke up shortly following the release of Club Mondo Bizarre, reforming later in 1999 without Perkowski (who wasn’t interested in a reunion). In 2001 they snatched former Belphegor bassist Mario Klausner and entered the studio to record Masters of Moral – Servants of Sin, an album that saw them adopt a heavier sound than its predecessor, moving away from death ‘n’ roll and towards a melodic death metal style reminiscent of CarcassHeartwork. The lyrics also expanded to include, besides their usual themes of sexual perversion, virulent attacks on the Catholic Church; but rather than tread the old and tired “Hail Satan” route of other acts, Schirenc defames the Church by sarcastically celebrating one of its vilest crimes: child sex abuse. And the best song on the album is the best example of this: “Viva Il Vaticano” is a pinch harmonic-happy tune that paints the Clergy as pederast con artists. “The Convent of Sin” opens with a melodic bass jam that does a better job of honoring Cliff Burton than Metallica’s recent “ManUNkind.” Album opener “Loot, Shoot, Electrocute” is two minutes of death-thrash bliss. And “Diary of a Nurse” sounds like Waking the Fallen era Avenged Sevenfold, but good.


Ampeauty (2004)

Klausner left the band shortly before they were due back on the studio, which prompted Schirenc to handle the bass duties himself for the band’s final album, Ampeauty (portmanteau of “amputee” and “beauty”). Deciding to return to the death ‘n’ roll of Club Mondo Bizarre, the album is full of bluesy midtempo numbers, the two exceptions being “Same Shit – Different Asshole” (whose speedy riffs recall early Sodom) and album closer “Fear The Grand Inquisitor,” a collection of frenetic riffs that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in Megadeth’s So Far, So Good… So What! if Schirenc had snarled the vocals instead of growling them. “Lynndie (She-Wolf of Abu Ghraib)” is a tribute to disgraced US Army soldier Lynndie England, tied together by a brilliant, slithering riff. “Got MILF?” features groovy blues riffs like those that Entombed was laying down during their major label years. And “The Amp Hymn” soars with melodic ringing notes and surprising clean vocals.

The band supposedly recorded one more album in 2007, but broke up again the same year and left it unreleased. Schirenc attempted to tour with a different line-up under the name The Church of Pungent Stench, only to be met with a lawsuit from Alex Wank. Nowadays, he tours as Schirenc Plays Pungent Stench, with no plans to write or release new material (and also no plans to release that final studio album). Hopefully seeing their old band in The Porcelain Throne will inspire Schirenc and Wank to put aside their differences, release that final album, and maybe give us some new material.

Thanks again to TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs for this very detailed write-up. If you have a band you would like to submit, hit the typewriter and fax a copy to tohthrone@gmail.com. (Please don’t actually try to fax me). 

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  • ≠ Voidscape Tyree ≠

    For God Your Soul… For Me Your Flesh & Been Caught Buttering

    http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzA2WDc1Ng==/z/A88AAMXQtUxTcUiR/$_35.JPG

    • more beer

      Ross from Immolation turned me onto these guys. Shortly after For God your soul came out. Been a fan ever since. They were also my one riff off the week submission.

      • ≠ Voidscape Tyree ≠

        I’m pretty sure I found them on my own. I think I first heard Been Caught Buttering because of how fascinated I was with the cover image. Shit is brutal!

        • more beer

          You find a lot music though. Keep in mind it was 1990. No one found music on the internet then. Everything was word of mouth,zines, and tape trading. There were a whole bunch of metal heads in Yonkers back then. Everyone was turning each other onto different things.While slamming kegs of beer.

          • ≠ Voidscape Tyree ≠

            For sure, I respect your way of finding them way fucking more. The 90’s I wish I could have lived through as a teenager. So much refreshing extreme metal to explore with out the convenience of the internet.

            EDIT: Such an exciting era.

          • more beer

            Different times for sure. But it was always cool when you found something really sick. That none of your friends had heard. Throwing it in a boom box at a party and everyone really digging it.

          • ≠ Voidscape Tyree ≠

            Such a rad feeling. I think every metalhead can relate to this.

          • more beer

            Don’t get me wrong. I am good with progress. But those days were a lot of fun.

        • sweetooth0

          I found out about them because of a min-flier for Nuclear Blast inside of the Moritification – Scrolls of the Megaloth CD my babysitter had at the time. When I got older I tracked down their music, and been a fan ever since. Some of the earliest totally out there extreme stuff I was exposed to in terms of the graphic presentation!

          • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

            I actually found out about them because I fancied this girl who was really into morbid photography like Joel-Peter Wilkin and Diane Arbus. So I read an article about JPW (so next time I talked to her it sounded like I knew what the fuck I was talking about), and it mentioned his influence on musicians like NIN and Pungent Stench

    • Rob M

      Much like Entombed after Clandestine came out…I just choose to believe they never released anything after those two albums

    • Óðinn

      Been Caught Buttering. Classic.

  • SupremeKrieg

    This shit smells bad.

  • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

    I heard of this band in august 2011 renting a room due to an unexpected pregnancy/adoption and I think he’s my cousin. Soon 2b wed:))

    -Ennifer Ayad, 1 year ago

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    I refuse to believe that a man named Alex Wank exists

    • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

      The bog of eternal stench

  • tigeraid

    This is fucking disgusting.

    Top marks.

  • sweetooth0

    Love these guys!! Great write up. I wish I could find the full uncensored version of Dirty Rhymes and Psychotronic Beats at a non-bank account raping price! I’ve also heard there are two versions of “For God Your Soul…”, the one with the severed limbs being the original (and supposedly superior) version, and the one with the freaks on the couch being a weird half re-recorded mess.

    • sweetooth0

      ah, just looked it up, it got re-issued in 93 and they’d lost the master tapes to several of the tracks.

      • ≠ Voidscape Tyree ≠

        Bummer.

      • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

        Yes, the reissue has some re-recordings because of that. The original also had all the tracks from their split with Disharmonic Orchestra, not to mention a much cooler cover

        • sweetooth0

          I kinda like the re-issue cover actually.

  • more beer

    Good write up Milf. I said a while back these guys don’t get enough love.

    • Óðinn

      True. If only they hadn’t been caught. 😉

      • more beer

        Hey shit happens!

  • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I’m planning on writing another article about a band that’s releasing their first album in a decade in 2017, hopefully I’ll finish it soon. I also tried as a joke to write a Pantera Porcelain Throne in the style of Jose Mangin, but I ran out of ideas by the time I got to Vulgar Display (that guy is so fucking one dimensional)

  • Óðinn
  • “Embalmed in Sulfuric Acid” is a delightful oxymoron. Never heard this band before. They kind of rule.

    • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

      I take this opportunity to let you know that I came across a copy of Atrox’s Terrestrials at my local record store. It’s a fucking brilliant album, I think I like it more than La Masquerade Infernale

      • Hey, hey, hey, let’s not get crazy now. (With a gun to my head I’d have to admit I revisit Terrestrials waaaaay more often than LMI. Don’t tell anyone.)

  • Max

    Y’know how some pundits posit that goregrind bands should always use a “biscuit tin”, piccolo snare drum sound? Well, I’ll go out on a limb and say that Pungent Stench might even be the originators of that on Dirty Rhymes and Pschotronic Beats.

  • Elizabeth Short

    I don’t think the song was on anything they did besides “Death is Just the Beginning…Vol.3” and “Praise the Name of the Musical Assassins”, but “Tony” is a fun song. Random Austrian metal band I found way back in the day, thanks for bringing them back up. Also, Hollenthon kills.

    • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

      Hollenthon never did much for me. There was actually a paragraph talking about them (and a couple of attacks on MetalSucks) on the original draft of this article that I decided to remove at the last minute prior to submitting