January 25th, 2011
Release length: 44:45
First off, Fester and Putrefy has a very underground raw production quality to the music that may instantly turn people off. It does make the introductory track, “Sea of Tongues”, as well as the start of “Fist of a Titan” come off rather rocky. But, once you get into “Fist of a Titan” and give the more static-like raw recording a chance to make an impact, it becomes clear that there is a heavy influence of early first wave Black Metal acts drawn into this mixture, and leading to a refreshing sound for the Black Metal community, taking away from the stylish sound of today’s stronger acts, and not driving the music solely on atmosphere and blast beats. Instead, the music has a general melody or groove to it that would be consistant with earlier acts that took the NWOBHM sound a little further, such as Venom. Granted, even after coming to terms with the production quality, “Sea of Tongues” just doesn’t come out well at all, leaving it to sound more like a jumbled mess of noise and chaos then anything. Of course, not all tracks feature this early wave feel of the style, but it’s these songs that really stand out the most.
While the music itself has a heavy raw quality, coupled with a very heavy distortion, the vocals are actually remarkably clear in comparison. While not one hundred percent digital clear, they stand out against the raw drums and guitars nicely, though at the same level as the rest of the music, causing them to blend in a little more, but it’s still pretty obvious they are of a higher quality, and much of the time can be understand perfectly when not completely drowned out by the music during the more intense moments and tracks, such as the furious “Horns of Gold”, which is perhaps the flagship of the entire recording. This song is just filled with fast paced music that hammers away at the listener without resorting to simply utilizing blast beats the whole time, but rather just manages to be a heavy, fast song that thrives off the raw quality and heavy distortion used, and the drumming keeps up well with the fast paced guitars, and even during some slower moments manages to bring in a galloping feel, all of which feel natural and simply brutal in ways that many bands simply cannot match.
Of course, not all tracks on this recording have that early Black Metal feel to them, as there are still some general tracks that come off more of the second wave inspirations. “Eyeless Gaze” is one of them, departing greatly from the fast and intense thrill rides of some of the earlier tracks, and focusing more of an atmospheric heavy and burdering sound all together, and it does it’s job well. Of course, “Scorched Flesh Ravaged Tongues” brings the material back to the level of “Horns of Gold”, but one can’t help but think that some of the more melodic elements of the track come off with some Death Metal inspirations, such as one of the bridges in the song having many similarities to a more Black Metal version of the Bloodbath track “Brave New Hell”. other then that, Fester and Putrefy does a good job at mixing up the varying approaches to the style, though none of the slower tracks can manage to keep the darker atmosphere like “Possessed by the Devil’s Blood”, being a very dark and simply ominous sounding track.
There’s nothing that can truly be said about Fester and Putrefy that is at all damning. Cavus have created an album that can simply be described as brutal and intense, though some tracks offer a bit of a haunting environment to them, but aren’t necessarily the most stand out tracks for the release. The sheer fury that the band brings with them on this release is enough to make your jaw drop at times, and that’s mostly what’s on here, bridging gaps between both first and second waves of Black Metal sometimes to give the recording a rather unique sound. The crushing atmosphere from the more raw production mixed with the heavy guitar distortions just makes this album hammer away at the listener without resorting to constantly using blast beats to drive a point home. If you’re looking for a Black Metal release that is just raw, angry, and pure intensity, then Fester and Putrefy is an album that simply must be heard, as well as added to your collection.
01. Sea of Tongues (Intro) – 2:23
02. Fist of a Titan – 3:32
03. Discovering Through Suffering – 3:43
04. Horns of Gold – 4:23
05. Death Rattle – 4:58
06. Eyeless Gaze – 5:25
07. Scorched Flesh Ravaged Tongues – 5:06
08. The Sacred Profane – 3:43
09. Possessed by the Devil’s Blood – 5:44
10. Worship and Rot – 5:47
|Overall Score: 9/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Listenable Records via Clawhammer PR.