Most likely operating from a distinctly unhygienic backroom surgery somewhere in the French underground, Doctor Livingstone – a composite of members and musical influences from the perversely blackened Arkhon Infaustus, death metal minions Mutilation and thrashers Zoldier Noidz – have created quite the monster with Contemptus Saeculi.
Starting The Fire ignites with spurts of turbo-charged grind and deranged yelps before erupting into the power grooves and sustained full-blast fervour of He Beneath The Scenery, an effective establishment of the sonic foundations of the record. But just when you think you have their number, attempts at categorisation prove premature with the introduction of an organ solo. From hereon in things only get weirder, in a chaotic mélange of horror punk, black metal, gothic overture, choirs of Deadites and animalistic exhortations.
In the hands of another band this mish-mash of subgenres might lack cohesion, but Doctor Livingstone stitch with finesse, largely thanks to their uncanny ability to attack viciously and groove irresistibly while not taking any of it too seriously.