Obscurus Nex Cultus
Obscurus Nex Cultus
Company: Gasmask Productions
Reviewer: Al Kikuras
music that makes the skin crawl
There was a time before the world wide web when metal bands were scary. I can remember seeing a poster of Slayer on my brother's wall and looking at Jeff Hanneman and thinking, "There is something WRONG with that guy." Back before you saw Tom Araya in a Spongebob Squarepants shirt (not that I don't love Spongebob) and before you knew Glen Benton wasn't really as insane as he sounded on the s/t debut album. Granted, there are a few bands and individuals that have managed to create that old persona... Gaahl from Gorgoroth is an obvious candidate, though his recent foray into fashion (I am still waiting for the punch line) is the first crack in that wall that I am sure will be gaping (no pun intended) in a year or two.
Overexposure, people. It kills mystique. "Too much information" as the kids put it. But there are a few bands that manage to not put a face to their music. To keep their mouths shut enough that you wonder what they are all about, and the music is--Sigrblot is the perfect example, and Father Befouled are prime new candidates as well. No pictures. No names (at all for Sigrblot, pseudonyms for Father Befouled). No mouthy press. Just shadows and smoke, and in the case of both bands, musical substance.
Now, key to this now, sadly, rare phenomenon is music that makes the skin crawl, and Father Befouled have that in spades. The formula is familiar...and simple: old Incantation, but Father Befouled bring back a griminess and filth that has been missing from Incantation releases post-Mortal Throne, and wallowing in the depths of their depravation is a rewarding and revolting experience. The production is cavernous and other-worldly. Samples add atmosphere between songs. Everything about this album just cries out, "listening to me will give you cancer," but it's the good kind of cancer, so sit back and enjoy. My hope is Father Befouled holds on to the mystique, whatever level of relative success they reach because it does these crusty old ears and eyes well to hear and see it again.