FESTER (Norway) “A Celebration of Death” CD review by www.metal-observer.com

FESTER (Norway) “A Celebration of Death” CD review

by www.metal-observer.com

By Neil

I know very little about Norway’s FESTER apart from the fact that they released two albums during the early 90s and, in contrast to the majority of their fellow countrymen, played a slightly Doom-inflected brand of Death Metal. If certain reports are to be believed, the band called it a day after having received threats from the pesky anti-Death Metal ‘Inner Circle’ back in the day.

Well, here we are in 2012 and a new FESTER album has just surfaced. The album, appropriately titled “A Celebration Of Death”, has turned out to be a rather pleasant surprise for yours truly. As someone who doesn’t generally take too well to this sloooow CIANIDE/ASPHYX-style Death Metal, I ended up enjoying this one a whole lot more than I expected. A lot of this stems from the fact that these wily Norwegians don’t play things exactly as you’d expect them to. In addition to the rumbling Death/Doom riffing, they also added some effective vocal effects here, a faint industrial tinge there, and a whole lot of smartly-placed melodic sections that provide nice counterpoint to the funereal riffing. The result is an album comprised of easily detectable influences but the way they mix it all together makes it sound more fresh and unique than would otherwise be the case.

The opening “Rites Of Ceres” is a perfect example of this. Rather simplistic and moderately tempered riffs keep things ticking along nicely, before the bridge and chorus sections turns very melodic and melancholy, and I swear I even hear a vague horn sample going on in the background. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a slow Death Metal song that was this engaging. This technique is also evident in “The Black Tower”, though less successful, before “I’ll Hunt You Down” kicks things into a higher gear with its more pronounced speedy tempo and aggressive vocals. “March Of Death” is an oddity – devoid of a discernible main riff, it just keeps piling these muddy sounding chords and reverb effects into a rather fluid tempo/structure that reminds me of the kind of thing MAYHEM did on “Ordo Ad Chao”. It’s a bit of a mind-fuck but it’s unbelievably dark. In complete contrast, a track like “Last Day Of Battle Pt. II” goes for a more marching rhythmic tempo before closing out with a majestic melodic lead section that affords it a very triumphant vibe that provides a moment of brief respite from the overbearing moroseness of the rest of the album.

The only other FESTER disc I’ve heard before this was is 1992’s “Winter Of Sin”, a rather bland exercise in doomy Death Metal. “A Celebration Of Death” blows it out of the water, as it sees the band in complete control of their trademark sound, and with more than a handful of adventurous aces up their collective sleeve. Trust me – this is about as diverse as you’re ever likely to get when it comes to this particular type of Death Metal. Hell, even the cover art kicks ass! It’s not perfect though – the snare sound has an annoying synthetic/plastic-y thud to it, and I would’ve appreciated a few faster songs – but overall “A Celebration” is a very worthy comeback effort from these Norwegians.

Rating: 7/10

Review link: www.metal-observer.com/articles.php?lid=1&sid=1&id=18738

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 Order FESTER “A Celebration of Death” CD, “Silence” DIGI CD, “Winter of Sin” DIGI CD and other official FESTER merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=fester

To preview a song from FESTER “Silence” DIGI CD go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hiTvtM5hoY  or www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkSQoaAzGpQ

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

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