A lot of people in 2017 scream “Too much Incantation-worship!“, and to that I say “Phooey!“. Truth be told, I don’t know what they are listening to, nor do I care. Like any self-respecting Death Metal fan, I can’t get enough of not just Incantation but their influence. Ever since I first heard “Mortal Throne of Nazarene” and “The Forsaken Morning Of Angelic Anguish” as a teen in the 90’s, I’ve wanted more. The feeling and desire of something like Incantation to completely blow me away and shatter my concept of Death Metal is always there. That’s not to say other Death Metal bands haven’t blown me away since, that would a lie. But I’m always yearning for that nice sweet spot that Incantation’s influence can always bring and brighten up my day if ever I am having a bad one.
Enter Father Befouled‘s “Desolate Gods” on Dark Descent Records. Right off the bat, can we discuss the artwork? I love the whole ‘ancient cave drawing out of a horror movie’ feel to it- like some primitive form of mankind worshiping creepy crawling things of the unknown world they live in. Artwork aside, the album itself just might be Father Befouled‘s best, as they mature while staying true and honest to their Incantation-inspired Death Metal roots. I have just described them with both “worship” and “influence”, but it’s apparent that on “Desolate Gods” Father Befouled have gone from “worship” TO “influence”, coming into their own while becoming more comfortable in their skin. That’s not saying anything negative about the band. Detractors be damned, because “Desolate Gods” is, for the lack of better terms, fucking sweet!
My personal favorite track on “Desolate Ones” is “Ungodly Rest.” The doomy-as-fuck deathly stomper is a form of sound that I personally love. It’s also a change of pace from the rest of the album and really shows the band’s writing chops -not relying on the same ol’/same ol’ that I’ve heard from a shitload of other more uninspired bands. Yes, I am going to throw the Lovecraft reference in here as well, but the slow, plodding, funeral dirge of the song just fits the concept of dark ancient entities and possible readings from books bound in human flesh and inked in blood. “Mortal Awakening” has a subtle tinge of blackened riffs before the headbanging breakdown kicks in. Other songs such as “Exalted Offal” and “Desolate Gods” have twists and turns as well, but at the end of the day it remains true to the Incantation style of Death Metal which is never a bad thing.
I’ll say one last thing concerning the new Father Befouled (and I know I am not the only one who more or less felt this way) . In comparison to their last album, “Desolate Gods” is far superior. Superior artwork, superior productions, superior song-writing, and hands down the best the band has created. This is Death Metal for worshiping old ones while working around the house trying to beat the summer heat. Enjoy!