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Dense, claustrophobic sound of DM - 70%

dismember_marcin, August 23rd, 2016

Triumvir Foul managed to capture my attention with their solid “An Oath of Blood and Fire” EP from 2014. Now the time came for their debut full length album simply called “Triumvir Foul”, which Blood Harvest unleashed on CD and vinyl. I did have quite high expectations for this album, I need to say. But although I’ve played it several times already, I am still not sure quite yet what should I think of it. Triumvir Foul surely went a bit different path and did something different when compared to the content of “An Oath of Blood and Fire”. The 7”EP was pretty traditional to the bone, conventional and really archaic sounding death metal, which actually had strong inclinations of bands like Grotesque, Nihilist mixed in one cauldron with the ancient US death metal of Death, Autopsy and so on. For the full length album Triumvir Foul went a path of more eerie, murky and sepulchral sounding death / black metal. Sort of, at least. The album sounds different and none of the EP songs are here, so…

I wonder though how much I should blame production for the whole change of my perception of Triumvir Foul's music. Because this album’s sound is very different, with dense, harsh, massive heavy and dissonant, almost claustrophobic kind of sound, putting that Swedish tone of guitars away, which was on the EP. But I don’t think it’s just matter of production though, because the style of the songs has also changed. This time I am willing to put Triumvir Foul aside to acts like Teitanblood, Altarage, Paroxsihzem, Adversarial, Abyssal and all such stuff – all of which certainly bring a new quality to the rigid frames of death / black metal. If it’s a good change or not, make your opinion. I like this new scene of extreme metal a lot and many of these news bands turned into real giants. Somehow though “Triumvir Foul” cannot fully impress me. It is a good album, I’ve played it numerous of times over this long weekend and I am sure I will play this vinyl more in the upcoming week… but… I don’t know, it’s nothing that I can call spectacular. Don’t take this wrong! There are many excellent riffs, many killer fragments, when Triumvir Foul leaves no doubt that they’re a solid and worthy band. Songs like “Pathways to Decay”, “Banished to Silence and Slavery” or any other will crush you with some great death / black metal embracing you in malevolent, dismal aura. But I feel like the entire album is a bit too one dimensional, it’s like every song starts to sound the same as the other, so relatively quickly the feeling of monotony appears, enhanced by the slightly cacophonic sound the band has.

Another important thing is the fact that “Triumvir Foul” is not an easily listenable album. It is derived of catchiness and hardly anything here is memorable. Of course one or two opening riffs, which were played in slower tempo, can be described as memorable, but usually they quickly drown in the maelstrom of chaos, dissonance and brutality. Compared to similar bands, you can say that Triumvir Foul is yet to capture that quality, which characterizes albums of Grave Miasma or Abyssal or whoever (including some newcoming bands like the awesome recent EP of Temple Below). But they’re probably going the right direction and sooner or later they will be there. I stated in the beginning of this review that I’m still not quite sure whether I like this album over the EP or if I’m happy that it all went this direction. I’m torn apart, yes. But we will see in the future. Now I can say that this is a solid effort, but far from a masterpiece.

Oh, let me say also that not only Triumvir Foul wins a prize for one of the weirdest band logos ever, but also for one of the most useless LP posters. Haha, what the hell is that???!!

Final rate: 70/100