Akron, Ohio's Fistula have been a headlining topic for local media as of late. The sludgy act has been under fire not only for the ideas surrounding their new 'Goat' EP, but also for the fact that the first 100 fans that bought the album received an evidence bag filled with dirt from the yard of accused serial killer Anthony Sowell.

Sowell, a 51-year-old Cleveland resident, is scheduled to head to trial Feb. 14 on 85 counts, including rape, kidnapping and the murder of 11 women. Sowell has pleaded not guilty by reason of inanity. These horrifying acts have shaken the community and residents, which includes Fistula guitarist Corey Bing. He lives right around the corner from Sowell's home, where the murders allegedly took place.

"Nobody had a clue; they all blamed the smell coming from the place on the sausage factory down the road, this is just insane," Bing said earlier this year. "I mean, how do these things go unnoticed? I really wanted to write about it so people are aware that this s--- is going on day in and day out ..."

The reaction in the news shocked the guitarist, as he believed he could see evil within the man. From that chilling moment, songs like 'Ohio Death Toll Rising' and 'So Far Sowell So What' began to take shape, making the accused killer not only a strong inspiration for the content of 'Goat' but the visual centerpiece of the album's cover. Sowell's face is place on the head of a goat.

Many news stories have run with reactions from family members of the victims to the band's album. Some have protested the band's actions, while others have supported the band's right to do as they see fit artistically. Needless to say, the news and attention from local papers and TV stations have placed the members of Fistula on the defensive thanks to accusations that they're mearly trying to benefit from the real-life tragedy.

"We are not heartless goons. Each of us in this band have lost countless friends to murder, substance abuse, and suicide," frontman Steve Barcus said, taking to the band's Myspace in defense. "We have experienced pain just as any other person in this world has. That is why we write and create what we do. Most people's outlet may be to put on rose colored glasses, pray that superstitious entities will intervene, or ignore things all together, we don't blame ya -- life sucks, but don't condemn us for using what resources WE have to get our message across."