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wow this is actually not bad - 78%

Noktorn, February 26th, 2010

This is apparently an album that Octagon recorded before 'Artisans Of Cruelty'. It's not entirely surprising that this is the much better work. As opposed to the later album, which was half good and half terrible, this is pretty much all good though a tad one-dimensional. It just goes to show that sometimes working within your means is a good thing.

The style here is pretty much just a primitive, less technically inclined version of what you hear on 'Artisans Of Cruelty', but it has a sort of spirit and amateurish charm about it that 'Artisans Of Cruelty' completely lacks. This is clearly a rehearsal room recording, which is much more effective than the very sterile and dry production found on the later album. Really it comes down to songwriting chops: these tracks, though fairly one-dimensional and derivative of other US and Nordic black metal artists, are strong and memorable, with riffs that stick to the mind and songs that don't tend to meander too much (minus the incredibly questionable 'Her Fettered Wings', which is a foreboding sign of things to come). These are simple songs, and you've heard them if you've heard just about any black metal before, but they're strong nonetheless.

While the individual performances typically aren't stellar, I have to give the drums a lot of credit as to the success of this release. The riffs typically lack variation, sticking with a sort of 'Transilvanian Hunger' ABABCA format, the drums are frenetic and flying, with a great deal of nuance given to small intricacies within typical rhythms and creative fills. It's one of the most unique elements on the album and works massively to its advantage. The riffs are good but given infinitely more life and longevity through the drums; without them, this album would be a much lesser beast.

'Death Fetish' is nowhere near spectacular, but it's definitely on the high end of average and is probably worth a look if you can find it for a decent price. It's about a million times more listenable and fun than 'Artisans Of Cruelty', so if you have to choose one, this is absolutely the album to grab.