FESTER (Norway) “A Celebration of Death” CD review by http://heavymetal.about.com

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

by http://heavymetal.about.com

By Todd Lyons

Musicians, like regular folks, have longings for the good old days, as Tiger Mathisen must have when he revisited his by reviving Fester and then releasing A Celebration Of Death. He should have the urge more often, as the quality of Fester and A Celebration Of Death is supreme, with a thick coat of 1993 slathered all over it. There’s even a cassette version! Nonetheless, it’s a tremendous death metal album for 2012. Fester made Winter Of Sin in 1992 and the fine Silence in 1994. A scant 17 years later, Fester returns with their best effort yet. Tiger Mathisen and Thomas Simonsen of the original Fester (the bass player, Jorgen Skølden, overdosed in 2000), Jon Bakker, and a session drummer, Jotho, a renowned jazz drummer, expertly rip up the tracks. Nothing says death metal like jazz, especially when Jotho predominately plays standard 4/4 with only smidgens of stylizations and nary a blast-beat. Enrobed in a dim-fi period piece mix, the musicianship is superlative and transforms the seemingly intentional blur into “atmosphere.” Opening with the melodic yet ominous “Rites of Ceres,” the track swells into a sheeting rainstorm of clamped phrygian guitars brutalizing their G-strings. Solos, like black umbrellas bent against the wind, appear in the funereal procession of dragging beats and elongated vocal phrasing, which for death metal is sung in an upper-castrati range. They work well, providing contrast to the usual buzz-saw grunting. “Rites of Ceres” boasts unusually good lyrics, lending a tint of paganistic doom to the blackened festivities. Fester plies this quilting texture and tortured tonality throughout A Celebration Of Death. Each track builds from the previous one by elevating intensity and expanding solos and guitar beds. The riffs pound Like chromatic sieges and never sound recycled from old Kreator or At the Gates albums. “Rites of Ceres”, “The Black Tower” and “A Face for a Funeral” are outstanding, almost sludgy tracks. The two tracks worthy of the illegal-to-tear-off tag of Classic are “I’ll Hunt You Down” and “Metalized”. The vocals in “Metalized” are actually pitched down to modern death metal mumblyness. The forefinger-pinching riff in the following “Jeg Spytter Pa Deg” (a Norwegian phrase meaning something like “top of the mornin’ to ya”) is practically infectious. The song’s drive motors along until it crashes into an ending of messy guitar and jazz spilled all over the drumh eads. Overlooking a few gaffes, an album with 6 great tracks is worth the PayPal anytime. Before the usual plea to purchase a great album worthy of a special death metal collection, be forewarned that there are several silly Pink Floyd soundscapes of sword and machine gun mayhem, and for whatever reason, a drum-machine remix of “Rites of Ceres” tacked on the end. The extra-added value is a nice thought, but the track dilutes that warm fuzzy glow of miserable death.

Rating: 4/5

Review link: http://heavymetal.about.com/od/fester/fr/Fester-A-Celebration-Of-Death-Review.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:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

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

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

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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