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“…Reverence of inhumanity… Irreverent disgust of holiness, towering cenotaph of demoncy. Pall of black divinity…”
The previous album of Father Befouled, “Morbid Destitution of Covenant”, was truly an exceptional offering of darkness and abhorrence towards the divine, all dressed in some of the most massive and heavy sounds that the death metal scene has spawned ever since “Onwards to Golgotha” was released. So you must understand that I just had to have great expectations for “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace”, which is already a third full length album from this exceptional, Chicago based band. And I dare to say that Father Befouled did not disappoint and yet again delivered a stunning dose of their obscure music. The vinyl looks truly impressive, I must say, the cover artwork is just as blasphemous as it can only get and there’s really nothing more to desire there (the LP includes a huge poster with the album’s cover).
To describe the sound of “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace” I guess I would just need to use pretty much the same words, which I have already used when I was reviewing “Morbid Destitution of Covenant”. Both albums are really similar and “Revulsion…” definitely continues the style, which Father Befouled has been developing on their previous recordings. To some point that may even sound like they’re repeating themselves, as basically the difference between both albums is very slim, if there is one at all. But I guess sometimes there’s no need to change the winning formula, if you know that everything works well and the maniacs appreciate your music. In case of Father Befouled I definitely wouldn’t wish them to change too drastically, so if “Revulsion…” sounds almost exactly like “Morbid Destitution…”, then it’s fine, as both albums are great and these mammoth riffs, which Father Befouled plays, are always killer.
What I always liked most about the music of Father Befouled is the atmosphere, which they create. I really mean that, but when you listen to it, then you just think of such words as utter darkness, abhorrence, profanation, it almost feels like participating in some kind of ritual of desecration, as the music really has “religious” feeling, but in the sacrilegious meaning of this term. Well, just read the lyrics and such lines as “a mockery of heavenly communion…”, “inveigle and suffocate the holiest words…”... The heaviness of this music is overwhelming. While listening to it, you just feel like the sounds were slowly crushing you and I can compare it to being in a room, whose walls are slowly and slowly coming together, making less and less space for you, so you know that finally they’ll squeeze you and you’ll die in terrible agony. But what other feelings may accompany you, when something as doomy and agonising as “Triumvirate of Liturgical Desecration” resounds? This is a true soundtrack to apocalypse, an experience, which you’ll either find as too suffocating and too monotonous or you will let yourself be dragged into these catacombs, where the band performs their rituals and join them in communion. The “love it or hate it” thing is usually pretty difficult to review, I must admit. You immediately put yourself on one of the two sides, but whatever you’ll write you must remember that there can be many people, who simply won’t agree with you. Not that I care, but being as objective as I only can I must say that I really like “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace” and just as I worshipped Encoffination, I also worship this album. But unlike the Encoffination stuff, which is slow in its entirety, Father Befouled makes sure that their “Onward to Golgotha” influence is not only based on creepy, doomy riffs and with such tracks as “Indulgence of Abhorrent Prophecies” and “Devourment of Piety” they also incorporate a lot of fast parts, which are also as heavy as death metal can only get. Forget though about the technical show off or hiper blasting in the modern death metal style. Father Befouled plays like it was 1990 and what’s more – they’re good at it.
It must be said that with this sort of death metal, where the playing is so utterly heavy and gloomy, without any additional instruments, without any extras, but where the whole is based on brutal, either slow or fast, but always powerful riff and deep, demonic growl, it is easy to start to eat your own tail, repeat yourself and become just boring. Luckily Father Befouled managed to avoid that and “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace” is their triumph. This band, like not many others, has played this sort of death metal in the rightful way and with passion, so I must definitely recommend Father Befouled to all of you, who’re into the early Incantation and who also like some of the other, present bands, of this style, like Encoffination, Disma or Dead Congregation.
Standout tracks: “Indulgence of Abhorrent Prophecies”, “Triumvirate of Liturgical Desecration”