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Death Fetishist - Clandestine Sacrament (2016) - Review

Band: Death Fetishist
Album title: Clandestine Sacrament
Release date: 28 October 2016
Label: Debemur Morti Productions

01. The Gifted Medium
02. Astral Darkness
03. Voidtripper
04. Netherrealm
05. Beauty From Wretchedness
06. Verbrannt im altem Morast
07. Wreckage Of The Flesh
08. Upturneth The Chalice

Clandestine Sacrament is the debut full length album from black death metal band Death Fetishist with two EP's released earlier in February this year. Formed in 2015 by Matron Thorn of Ævangelist, Benighted In Sodom, PrÆternatura and G. Nefarious of Panzergod and Daemoniis Ad Noctum these guys are certainly no strangers to creating atmospheres of darkness and mayhem. With influences from ambient, black, death and other music; this album explores the many dark corners of the depraved human mind, inverting all that is good and worshiping all that is unholy.

"Somewhere in the rift between madness and catharsis is the true nature of Death Fetishist."

Clandestine Sacrament is a truly dark album with hypnotic and unorthodox guitar riffs that may induce a trance like state along with a more than casual lust for chaos and bad behaviour. The atmosphere of the album is very choked up; not in a claustrophobic way, but more in a Michael Hutchence hanging from a door knob kind of way... auto-erotic asphyxiation followed by accidental death by misadventure. In excess indeed; beware thrill seekers! No one ever catches the dragon, though they keep trying. Clandestine Sacrament has an aura of the darker sides of sexuality, evoking images of BDSM, studded leather and esoteric sex magick in dark ritual chambers where all fetishes are catered for by mysterious hooded vixens and relentless, alluring temptresses.

The intro track "The Gifted Medium" sets the mood for the destruction that will follow with some ambient sounds of rain/thunder, light female whispers and foreboding synths. Then begins the second track "Astral Darkness" with solid blast beats and severe note-bending on the guitars which at first sound like a typical blackened death metal track, then everything rapidly changes and you realise that this album is going to be something very different. Death Fetishist has covered new ground and explored new realms with this album. There is an oppressive wall of sound created with messy unidentifiable riffs surrounding the music in a harsh, scratchy cocoon of splintery sound. Underneath the cocoon there are some solid, dark chord progressions that climb like crawling chaos only to plummet into the dark voids below inducing in the listener an at times "druggy" feeling or at least an overwhelming sense that your brain has been tampered with by untrustworthy entities of some description. Maybe an oblivious sip from a sneakily spiked beverage. I think this is partially achieved through the outer cocoon remaining steady while the inner elements change and morph into different shapes and sounds like a dirty shell with a mutating vile hatchling inside. The vocals are harsh, demonic, twisted and unrestrained with a sound halfway between black and death that combine perfectly with the guitars to reinforce the concept of catharsis reached through extreme expressions of existential desperation. To balance the brutal release of fury there are some excellent shape-shifting breakdowns sometimes with female vocals provided by Julia Black of Silent Spirit that contrast with the more maniacal mantras. The track "Verbrannt in altem Morast" (Burned in old morass) is a synth based ambient track played by Jürgen Bartsch of Bethlehem who shares his name with an infamous German serial killer born in 1946. The last track of the album "Upturneth The Chalice" is a 12 minute monster which combines most of the ideas and themes in the album into a singular muti-verse of a track that takes no prisoners. Keyboards played by Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues.

The album artwork by Andrzej Masianis is an excellent depiction of the types of images invoked by the music. It features two female figures in black and red; one with a spear and the other cringing before she receives the sharp end. The figures stretch out off the edges of the album cover in long web-like trails and there is a feel to it like old European art depicting the Gods and ancient legends.

The overall album sound is good and it creates a very dark, scratchy atmosphere which should be enjoyed by fans of the genre; though I feel there could be some more bass in the mix, especially in the drums and rhythm guitars. Maybe I am just used to Australian death metal which is bass heavy as fuck!

All and all a solid album that explores the darkside in many of it's most depraved forms. Soon to be unleasehed by Debemur Morti Productions; a great album for void trippers, hypnotic trance junkies and death fetishests alike who enjoy their music ambient, furious, DARK and TWISTED!

Review written by: Evceles
Rating: 8/10