Music » Band of the Week


Idiopathic (Shifty Records)


Medina's Fistula plays soot-black stoner metal so pained that it belongs in an ER. This is pointedly coarse masochism, equal parts doom, grind, and bleeding vocal cords. Singer-guitarist Aaron's glass-gargling shrieks will test the mettle of even the most hardened headbanger, and his guitar playing is equally barbarous: massive, sun-obscuring riffs add impressive girth to all nine tracks on Idiopathic.

Fistula lands its one-two punch in dirge after dirge, keeping the album slow and suicidal. But what makes Idiopathic work isn't simply its extremity, but the fact that the band has taken the time to infuse its songs with hooks, if not melody. Opener "Firekiller" is a lumbering brute, with bluesy, devolved guitar and hulking rhythms; "Fear of One" is a welcome shot of velocity, with breakneck beats and indecipherable, screeching vox. It all ends with a take on "Cocaine" that tears J.J. Hale's original limb from limb. Recommended for sadists and sludgecore aficionados alike.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.