FAUSTCOVEN “Hellfire And Funeral Bells”

Release Date: April, 2012

Label: Nuclear War Now!

Funeral BellsI first became aware of Norwegians FAUSTCOVEN presence, at NWN! Fest back in 2010 and I remember being strongly impressed by their mix of british doom/death of the early 90s and monolithic, primeval blackmetal of HELLHAMMER and (less) BATHORY legacy.

Although I kept them at the back of my mind, it took more than two years to return to them –and what a great meeting this was! “Hellfire And Funeral Bells” that was released back April of 2012, is full of these eschatological (that is… DOOM!) guitar riffs that look upon the world’s demise and made BLACK SABBATH eternal totems of distorted music. This atmosphere is suitably enhanced by the terror exhaled from HELLHAMMER (and early CELTIC FROST), whose minimalistic approach is present here and undresses the songs from unnecessary additions; listen for example to the short but to-the point solos in the opening track, which function perfectly as quick breaths before the upcoming attacks.

Walking in parallel roads with their compatriot Woe J. Reaper (FURZE), yet less abstract and more narrative, FAUSTCOVEN enclose almost every positive aspect of a duet-band. They keep their music admirably consistent by building the record’s six songs around a massive mid-tempo structure (although at point changing paces as in the creeping “Lost In The Forest Of Suicide”), while lyrically inspired by the various versions of horror cinema. The extra credit should be given to the absolutely fitting production that provides the music with an all natural sound in every instrument, far away from known “technology tricks” and similar bullshit.

As the ten-minute opus “Choir Of Mentors” fades out through the speakers, there arises realization these 40 minutes come straight from the late 80s and an always welcome intuition that metal spirit continues to live in some of the contemporary releases, emerges. It just has to be done like in this record, meaningful, visionary and without being cheap as in countless retro copies that have fallen as flies upon shit on the trend of “old-school sound”. Way to go Norway, you will always keep something special for us…

~ by antifleshnimbus on February 9, 2013.

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