FESTER (Norway) “Winter of Sin” DIGI CD review by Metal Team UK

FESTER (Norway) “Winter of Sin” DIGI CD review

by www.metalteamuk.net

By Martin Harris

When this nicely packaged digipack disc arrived I was expecting some filthy 90s death metal from Norway’s Fester. But having read the biography information it turns out these Norwegians were very atypical for the scene around at the time of original release in 1992, when the Norwegian black metal scene was in its full throe and reeling from various scandals within its own subculture of depravity and controversy.

You’d expect Fester to deliver some truly underground and gnarly death metal of Swedish variety with a name like Fester but no these guys tried to make a name for themselves by mixing up blackened metal traits with sludge like death metal but ultimately I suspect the band found it difficult to win fans when black metal was the thing at the time in Norway. The title track begins the album with what sounds like some dude walking through snow as some black metal like screams come forth as the song moves into a slow doom like pace that is fairly melodic and using a thin bass, though not as thin as said black metal scene.

Despite the album having been remastered the sound is still demo like in sound quality which is not a bad thing, purely an observation as “Senses Are The True You” takes on a death metal quality with a pace similar to Marduk’s “Dark Endless”. In fact this has similarities to many early black metal bands demo days when they were actually death metal before morphing (read as jumping on the bandwagon) into black metal. When listening to this it is important to remember when it was out and what was around at the time as “Winter Of Sin” was certainly off kilter with the rest of the scene and unique in its own way by blending black, death, doom and touches of thrash into their songs.

“Victory!!!” takes on a Dissection flavour even though Dissection’s debut was not out until a year after, but I’m sure you’ll see what I’m driving at when the band uses thrash riffing with some purely heavy metal rhythms. The songs are actually quite long giving the Dissection comparison more weight I guess though I did find the leads quite weak overall even for 1992 when you compare it to other notable releases of the time such as Asphyx’s “Last One On Earth”, At The Gates’ “The Red In The Sky Is Ours”, Enslaved’s “Yggdrasil” plus a wealth of other quality releases from the same year.

There is a doom like and even Sabbath like feel to “A Dogfight Leaves A Trace” being slow and dirge like but with the occasional changes of speed the song has plenty of variety. The studio output closes with “The Commitments That Shattered” and has a good riff in the background as the lead does its best to prove a point. I preferred this album when the leads were kept short to leave the crusty like riffing to demonstrate an occult like flavour that spreads through most of the album. The black metal style vocals often seem out of place but fit well with the bleak like atmosphere the band successfully created with this album. The album comes with a lengthy live track from their first demo in 1991 (“When Darkness Confirms”) and recorded live the same year. Surprisingly the sound is fairly clear and has little distortion and sounds as crude and raw as you would hope to expect from that time.

This is a minimalist death metal album with other influences from doom, black and straight heavy metal and gave this band a unique selling point at the time which was lost on the scene at the time. If you want to hear some truly authentic underground and claustrophobic death metal then this is worth hearing, but don’t expect pure black metal or a Swedeath sound.

Review link: www.metalteamuk.net/jan11reviews/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 “Winter of Sin” DIGI CD, latest Full-Length “A Celebration of Death” CD, “Silence” 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 songs from FESTER’s “Silence” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hiTvtM5hoY or www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkSQoaAzGpQ

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