FESTER (Norway) “Silence” Remastered DIGI CD review by Metal Team UK

FESTER (Norway) Silence Remastered DIGI CD review

by Metal Team UK

By Martin Harris

Having reviewed this bands debut album reissue earlier this year I was expecting more of the same, but it turns out that at the time the band was going through all sorts of trouble with their label and musical differences. Like “Winter Of Sin” this is released as a digipack with a bonus live track from 1991. It is a fair to say that Norwegian death and thrash acts in 1991 to 1995 were severely neglected due to the feuding black metal scene at the time. Interestingly enough Euronymous was killed during the recording of “Silence” catalysing interest from mags and zines for the wrong reasons hoping for some sort of scoop on the Euronymous incident, which at the time the perpetrator was mystery.

Anyway enough history back to the album. “Silence” was a departure from the doom death oppression of the debut as this remastered album has a cleaner sound though the chilling atmosphere is here in huge proportions. Quite why the original cover artwork has not been included is a mystery as the cover was more fitting than the new one. Beginning with “Dream” the acoustic guitar and bass kick/hi-hat work is eerie as the song shifts into a slow double bass kick that reminded me of the debut album by The Gathering (“Always”) before they brought Anneke in. The vocals by Rolf Simonsen are like a harsh whisper with a drifting echo effect on them creating a surreal and despondent feel, especially with the excellent lead. Bjorn ‘Tiger’ Mathisen takes on vocal duties for the harsher style used on “Silent Is The Raven” and are very reminiscent of Rotting Christ on their “Thy Mighty Contract” and “Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers” albums which is interesting as this album came out the same year as the former and three years before the latter. The pace of the song is slow but not doom slow by any means. Rotting Christ comparisons abound on “Frustrations” which is damn fine by me as the vocals have a spoken quality and lots of riff trickery and very subtle changes.

“The Maze” exemplifies why this band was unique at the time and I am slightly annoyed with myself for not picking up on them in the early 90s as I really did miss a treat. The song is as dark and oppressive as the debut and if anything there is an intimidating feel as each track makes you sit up and listen very intently. I know this was out before “Triarchy…” but the beat, emotion and delivery of “The Conformists” is so like that album it makes me wonder if RC got any influences from Fester. “Voices From The Woods” has some synths on it which add to the creepiness but as ever Fester surprise you with a tangential change to double bass that seems like its in slow motion creating a gloomy and moody ethos. “Growing Thirst” has some great riff switching as the song is the quickest on the album and again matched by ever changing riffs and beats. “Nar Noen Dor” was added originally because their label said the album was short on playing time. This song was put together by Tiger on keyboards with only guitar and a spoken vocal line in Norwegian (their only one without English lyrics). The song has a poignant feel matching Tiger’s mood after losing a friend to suicide. The song is a sombre moment on an album packed with solemnity and sadness. The live track is out of kilter with the rest of the album and whilst bonus tracks are needed for selling purposes I’ll never listen to it with the rest of this album as the two are just too disparate to compare. The live song is “Persecution” and sounds better than the live stuff on “Winter Of Sin” and is as you’d expect, gritty, raw and unfettered by modernistic sound engineering. I would strongly urge you to check out this bands music if you’re into old Rotting Christ, early Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, old Katatonia, old Opeth, early Anathema, I’m sure you get the picture now.

Review link: www.metalteamuk.net/june11reviews/cdreviews-fester.htm

Fester links:

Myspace: www.myspace.com/festernorway

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Fester/204292849614033

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/festernorwaybm

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/Fester

Abyss Records links:

Online Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Abyss-Records/164573050232055

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Other links:

To purchase FESTER “Silence” DIGI CD, latest Full-Length “A Celebration of Death” CD, “Winter of Sin” DIGI CD and other FESTER merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=fester

To preview songs from FESTER’s latest full-length album “A Celebration of Death” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWMGYQO2CjI or www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xc7tab9jvs

And to preview a song from FESTER’s “Winter of Sin” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKH4_MK_6DI

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