Death Fetishist - Clandestine Sacrament - (8.5/10)
Published on February 1, 2017
Formed in 2015 by Matron Thorn of Aevagelist (among many other projects), Death Fetishist was the project deemed to carry more of a black and doom metal focus than his main project. Being joined by drummer/percussionist G. Nefarious, the two have only been releasing material in 2016 thus far, but already have two EP’s and now a full-length release, entitled Clandestine Sacrament. Coming in late in the year, the two man band makes quite an impressive statement, with some incredibly dense, and cacophonous black metal. Being expected given how murky Aevangelist can be, it is nice to hear that applied to this take on black metal as well. From beginning to end, this Debemur Morti production is one to leave you feeling dirty, but completely enthralled.
The brief instrumental opening sets the stage well and leads into the second track wonderfully. The eerie whispered voice and airy samples let you know this will not be a folk/atmospheric take on the genre, certainly not in the “normal” sense of the world. The music is packed into the album, with many layers coming together to create a massive wall of sound and generally sound chaotic, but there are still plenty actual riffs, and melodic lines being played underneath the tremolo picked guitars and layers of sounds. The album is fairly mid to fast paced throughout, but there is still some time to slow things down. A track like “Wreckage Of The Flesh” has more of the doom influence, being a slower track for the most part, but of course still has some pummeling sections as well. The doom elements of the album work quite nicely as they allow the vocals to be a bit more audible, and showcase how demented they really are. The higher range of the vocals being rasped in an airy quality and sounding like Matron is being strangled is something that is really haunting and adds to the album in a very positive way.
Despite the album being nearly a non-stop assault, there are other methods in which the album slows things down a bit. “Verbrannt In Altem Morast” is an entirely instrumental piece with keys that, while still fitting in with the record, give the album some much needed breaks, and the melody is disturbing but ultimately a nice change from the earlier tracks. This piece comes in at just the right time and makes the album feel a bit darker while still making sure the listener doesn’t become too comfortable with the record’s format, and again allowing the songs to be broken up a bit more and given some room to explore something else. By the time the album ends, you are usually left reeling at what you’ve heard. Sure this is not exactly a “new” take on the genre, and you may not be questioning the genre when the record is over, but the sheer density and intensity this album brings is undeniable. Much like Skaphe, the album is well produced, but raw and powerful as well. It hits the mark of twisted riffs and just so much to take in, it cannot be done in just one listen.
Death Fetishist would probably sound like just another death metal band in passing based on their name. However, knowing the players involved lend quite a bit more weight, and once you learn the style the band has decided to opt for, it piques the interest quite well. There is not really any negatives to say about this debit release, though perhaps there will be some that are not fully enjoying of music with such material being compacted in the tracks. The music is more than just background music, and to really grasp everything it take multiple listens. While there is nothing inherently wrong with more straightforward music, being able to make something so packed while still having that sound delve into just a cacophonous mess is admirable. To be able to create well crafted tracks, create a haunting atmosphere and make music that is genually terrifying as well is exactly what Death Festishist does, and they do it damn well.