Father Befouled – Revulsion of Seraphic Grace (Dark Descent Records)

Monday, 25th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Easily among the more obscure releases a listener will come across this year, Revulsion of Seraphic Grace is nonetheless an admirable piece of work. Sharing more than a few traits in common with Incantation (especially 1992’s Onward to Golgotha), there’s a very old school vibe sense here, only a decidedly American take on old school as opposed to the Swedish sounds so many are plying nowadays.

Throughout the seven tracks on hand there’s a consistent theme throughout, the marriage of claustrophobic blasting sections and absolutely crushing funeral doom sections. If nothing else sets Father Befouled apart, it may be that – the absolutely cavernous sounding guitar and vocals during the doomier excursions that fill many of the songs (and make up the entirety of album closer “Triumvirate of Liturgical Desecration”). At times the mixing of tempos and the general ‘weirdness’ inherent within much of the music brought to mind Mitochondrion and even last year’s Sonne Adam release Transformation. The doomy moments absolutely seething with similarities to everything Evoken has done since 2001’s Quietus and going back further, Winter’s sole testament Into Darkness.

At a brisk 36 minutes Revulsions in Seraphic Grace does not overstay its welcome or cause the burnout that can come with music of this style. The mood across the album is particularly suffocating, resonating with increasing intensity after multiple listens – a nigh requirement with how dense the music is. “Irreverent Ascendancy” offers a foremost tour on the oppositions inherent in the album bouncing from a snail-paced opening to an absolutely ravenous set of blast sections before an abrupt end. “Desacrament” absolutely grooves, a blackhole steamroller consuming everything in its path. Production is a bit murky but it’s understandable with the musical intentions and execution, it serves its purpose.

A release from this deep in the abyss is going to be an acquired taste for whoever happens to come across it. That being said it has a lot going for outright and over time. A nice mix of old school death metal and modern funeral doom, there surely has to be some number of fans out there for this kind of sound (myself certainly among them). Pick it up, soak it in, embrace the oppressive black that follows.

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(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)