I never know whether to feel happy or sad about bands that continually excel under the radar of many music listeners, building an impressive resume without a ton of people realizing it. They don’t get nearly the credit they deserve, yet maybe that’s good because the bands can operate without the added pressure of a ton of people analyzing their every move.
Not that they’re unknown, but way more people should be aware of Father Befouled. When people drop names of the bands that have made death metal the true force it has become, you don’t hear them involved as much as you should. Yet here they are, a decade after forming, and they’ve unleashed four devastating records onto the world, the latest being “Desolate Gods,” the first album in five years. They have remained consistently brutal since their 2012 effort “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace,” and they seem to have found a well-grounded home on Dark Descent, as perfect a spot for them as any. The band—guitarist/vocalist Justin Stubbs (Encoffination, Chasm of Nis), guitarist Derrik Goulding (Abyssion), bassist Rhys Spencer (also of Abyssion), drummer Wayne Sarantopoulos (Cauldron Burial, Encoffination)—spread their terror over eight songs and 36 minutes, delivering a perfectly dosed slab of death that is a solid as it comes.
“Exsurge Domine” is a quick introductory cut to get your filthy juices flowing, and then it’s into the heart of “Offering Revulsion,” which gets sludgy pounding going right off the bat. Guttural death and slow mauling establish themselves, as the grisly growls and pounding drums unload more violence. The pace pulls back some before the guitars rise up and start scorching again, soloing ignites, and the final moments are made up of harsh growls and guitar stabs. “Mortal Awakening” is raucous and nasty, with chaotic stomps and vocals that feel engorging. The leads boil as the twists riff into balls of madness, and the end rumbles and crumbles with fury. “Exalted Offal” has riffs spiraling and growls hissing, but then a section of hazy guitars arrives to cloud your head. It feels a little sunburnt for a time, but then things ignite, with the band dumping insanity into your lap.
“Ungodly Rest” is slurry and heavy to start, having a slight Celtic Frost feel to it. It’s heavy and relentless, as the guitars get sinewy and doom-infested, which adds a nice, dank feel to everything. A fluid solo and more gravelly growls arrive, and the final blasts could melt faces. “Divine Parallels” is mashing and mean, as the growls scrape, and the playing makes everything dizzy. As the song goes on, the pace gets faster and more threatening, with hellish growls erupting, and the song coming to an abrupt end. “Vestigial Remains” is an instrumental cut that awakens along with the guitars cutting in, and the band unfurls the piece slowly. The guitars moan in pain, while the tempo is calculated, and that all slowly melts into the closing title cut. The track explodes right off the bat, with the song drawing blood and the vocals torching flesh. “Drink the blood of desolate gods,” Stubbs howls as the song ignites and it torches and fades into the bloody horizon.
Father Befouled may never reach, say, Incantation or Morbid Angel levels of notoriety, but make no mistake, this band has been heavily instrumental in keeping underground death metal ferocious and ugly. “Desolate Gods” is another hammering display, one that will leave you writhing in pain long after it’s done. Anyone with a hunger for true, mangling death will wind up sickeningly happy with this destructive display.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/FatherBefouled
To buy the album, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/