Album: Le Dernier Crépuscule
Label: Profound Lore Records
Sometime during 2012 a four track demo of chaotic, swampy and croaking Demilich/Finn-death inspired death metal, Amechth’ntaas’m’rriachth, was dropped by this Canadian band, and it drove the hype trains in the underground wild for a while. However silence followed this demo up until the end of 2015, when Paolo Girardi showed off the artwork he had been creating for the band’s studio debut, Le Dernier Crépuscule, slated for a release early this year. Le Dernier Crépuscule builds upon the foundations laid in the demo and is a fantastic release.
The title, and opening track, sets the tone of the entire album in such a glorious manner; a menacing wind, bell tolls, random noises and a building wailing guitar and wailing choral intro leading into very menacing, swirling riffage before dropping into one of the repurposed demo tracks, Into the Vaults of Ingurgitating Obscurity. One of the most notable things about this, and the rest of the tracks on this album, is that riding throughout the swirling, cavernous riffs and chaotic technical lead-work, the bass often provides whacky technical bass riffs, cutting through the guitar to enhance the chaotic elements of the songs. This is best represented in Scriptures of the Typhlodians and The Voices Beneath the Well, particularly so here with the bass making its presence extremely notable, including what sounds like even possibly slap bass later in the track.
Voidspawn, the first proper new track (by-passing Le Dernier Crépuscule as an intro track), is an example of Chthe’ilist reaching into more cavernous ends of this death metal sound, and this cavernous sound often rears its decaying head in amongst LDC’s swampy technicality.
One of the prominent features of LDC is the inclusion of both a heavy usage of synths/choral effects to ramp up the creepy and menacing atmosphere of the album, but also chanting vocals, often combined with the synths to hammer in an extremely chilling ritualistic vibe, especially so mid-way through Vecoiitn’aphnaat’smaala. While the band has stated that the Demilich comparison is over-played, it’s hard to deny the similarities between Antti (Demilich) and Pat’s swampy, netherwordly burps that make up the vast majority of the vocal delivery on LDC.
Tales of the Majora Mythos Part 1 is perhaps the most interesting track provided here, considering it is a 13 and a half minute monolith dealing with the self-evident mythos surrounding The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. The fantastic thing about this track is that it’s given the same treatment one would give Lovecraft or any other form of horror, rather than just being a tacky “metalised” pop culture reference, combined with the dirge-like intro and dread concocted throughout the track, it’s completely chilling
Despite three of the seven tracks on LDC being re-recordings of the three major tracks from the demo, LDC doesn’t feel lacking as an album, with a heavier synth presence and more menacing sounds included, as well as some reworked guitar leads, solos and riffs give these tracks a distinct different feeling to their demo versions. That’s not to mention the quite shortened song titles! In regards to album length, the seven tracks here rock up to a large 52 minutes, but the album never becomes tiresome or monotonous, due to the unique spin each track has with the albums schizoid technicality and consuming other-worldly atmospheres.
Le Dernier Crépuscule is a fantastic album and shows that while a band may be compared often to a particular influence, the band themselves can shine further in their own light, or dwell in their own swampy caverns rather, if they’ve got the song writing talent, and Chthe’ilist absolutely do. A must listen for any fan of death metal, especially so for fans of Demilich, Timeghoul and other older leaning technical death bands, and an early contender for AOTY.
Check ’em out here: https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/le-dernier-cr-puscule