Clandestine Sacrament by Death Fetishist

Release date: October 28, 2016
Label: Debemur Morti Productions

The strange collective that also bandies about the name Aevangelist is the same creative force that comprises Death Fetishist. Similar but different, Death Fetishist plays music closer to dissonant black metal. In fact, the riffs on here are quite different from anything Aevangelist has done so far. Both bands use drum machines, but Death Fetishist doesn’t use syncopated beats like Aevangelist does. Death Fetishist varies the tempos some, but the drum machine, buried in the mix, hardly keeps time in a discernable way. In fact, except for some of the strange tremolo-picked riffs Death Fetishist uses, the album can be quite a chore to fall in love with.

Perhaps in large part to the astounding musical output the guys on Death Fetishist are responsible for, the band fails to make something really worth loving on this, their full-length album, Clandestine Sacrament. Don’t get me wrong, the music on Clandestine Sacrament isn’t bad, just hard to stick with for a full listen as there are tons of hyperion little riffs that sound like a thousand cicadas rubbing legs incessantly, and to that extent difficult to emblazon upon memory.

I typically reach track three before the monotonous quality of the record prompts me to listen to something else. When I listen intently to the album, I do find little riffs I like, but never in a way that begs me to revisit the songs. Clandestine Sacrament didn’t grow on me, no matter how many times I tried to sit through a listen.

Like I said, the guitars don’t sound like most black metal. The little tremolo-picked riffs sound more like butterfly wings fluttering rapidly. The rung notes don’t have much grit or reverb, and the riffs change so frequently, it’s hard to detect any sequence or structure. I wanted to like this album, and I tried, but it comes down to individual preference, particularly because the musicianship isn’t lacklustre. In fact, it’s difficult to pull off playing this, but similarly, it does lack character, catchiness. It sounds like the logical progression of an Alcest record should Alcest have played something more dissonant and complex.

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