Chthe’ilist |‘Le Dernier Crépuscule’
Last week, Chthe’ilist took to social media to clarify something.
“There are no pitch-shifting effects, vocoders or monster samples used on the vocal tracks in Le Dernier Crépuscule. That is all.”
It’s a simple statement, but it’s also a delightful red-rag to a death metal readership.
Like a ‘found footage’ disclaimer at the start of a horror movie, it tempts. If it’s that inhuman – go on, give us a listen.
Yet, joyfully, for all the Quebec band’s delving into the horror ambience that surround the songs, it’s the simple, organic nature of this debut makes it all the more savoury. This is some heavy, lethal stuff – and expertly played.
Reminiscent Of Demilich
The group has taken their time gestating.
It’s been almost four years since their demo wormed its way onto every forum that had anything to do with underground Death Metal. Eyebrows were raised at a band that, while formed in modern Canada, sounded like they’ve just pulled themselves, mandibles clacking, from the fetid swamps of 90’s Finland.
The ingurgitating vocals, so reminiscent of Demilich at their best, were the stand-out, but an extremely catchy ring to the riffs helped them make their impact.
‘Le Dernier Crépuscule’ more than follows through on the promise of that demo.
What was glimpsed in shadow is now fully realised in all it’s rearing form. It’s an album of arms and jaws, pounding sinew and the brutal rush of death metal at its finest – but it’s couched in a Lovecraftian ambience that is unbeatable when it slots into place.
The slow dawn of the opening track give an idea of the scale of that the band are working with. Tolling bells, the grinding churn of layers of guitar – it’s an impressive immersion.
The Work Of Superfans
Ultimately though, there are elements here that any metal fan can recognize and enjoy. The slap and clang of the bass, the tight, clipped riffing throughout – and of course those vocals. Treacle-think and absolutely enveloping in their weird alternation between low roar and the inward, ruminating growl they utilise.
Every (death) metal album ultimately fights its way onto your turntable / earphones by having songs.
You have to hand it to Chthe’list for managing to take elements as extreme as the vocals on this, and deftly working them into tracks as simply rocking as ‘Voidspawn’.
You could namecheck this thing all day long. Demilich, Adramalech, Atheist (especially in the tasteful drumming), they’re all certainly there. It’s clear the album is the work of superfans, but what’s heartening is that there’s precisely no weak links.
They’ve a serious drummer onboard, and complete with some grand, hugely satisfying solos – they’ve got this thing nailed down.
Perhaps one of the best little aspects of the album is the use of clean vocals at time. It adds an air of almost Yorkshire, Stainthorpe style drama on tracks like “Vecoiitin..”. These instances have a brief existence, with an avalanche of double bass and killer riffs waiting to descend again.
As a closer ‘Tales of the Majora Mythos…’ is about as expansive a piece you could hope for. Alternating between dark, key-driven passages and absolutely scything guitar – it’s a wonderful canvas they project all their skills across.
As a debut, ‘Le Dernier Crépuscule’ fulfils in both feel and function. It’s clear the writing of this has been years in the making – and it’s painfully obvious they’re some kind of perfectionists.
Fully realised and formed, they’ve managed to set the bar for morbid Death Metal toweringly high for 2016.
4.4 / 5 – Lorcan Archer ::: 08/02/16