Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fiends At Feast – Towards The Baphomet's Throne

I've always been fascinated by the image of the Baphomet.  It has components of the male and female, night and day, one hand raised and other pointing below, sort of like some demonic yin and yang.  This particular, popular image was actually created in 1855 as the “Sabbatic Goat”.  And we all know the way the metal world gets into goats.  It was also adopted by the Church Of Satan, although when you look into it a little bit, it's not quite as evil and demonic as one would hope.  It's actually used to represent the duality of the harmonious dichotomies of the cosmos.  But hey, it's a goat with great big horns and boobs, so METAL!!

So besides giving me a chance to get all History Channel, this is actually a really good release from Fiends At Feast.  These guys hail from Santa Cruz, CA, not normally known as a hotbed of evil, but hey, we're all from somewhere, right?  They've been doing their thing since 2008 and this is their first full length.  The only reason I'm not more ecstatic about this album is that it took awhile to get going for me.  The aptly titled “Intro” is nice and evil, with lots of sounds of moaning and wailing, whips cracking, the sound of something being dragged and then the sound of a gate slamming shut.  But the next 4 tracks after that are kind of paint by numbers black metal and I didn't hear a lot of enthusiasm, or anything different from all the other releases I listen to.

The party really gets started with the sixth track, “From Hell They Rise”.  From this point forward in the album, there is a marked difference in the energy level of the songs and it seems like the guys are really hitting their stride.  The next track is a nice acoustic interlude, “A Despondent Theme To Thy Own Demise”.  There is something just delicious about hearing a minor theme on an acoustic guitar, especially one that gets more evil sounding as it continues.  “Hedonistic Heresy” comes next and it is the one true ripper of a song on the album.  Very well done and has some very tasty guitar soloing, not quite the speed ripping you usually hear in black metal, and it was a very attention grabbing change of pace.

“Profecia Negra” and “Cold Grey Sky” wrap up the album with some proper, solid black metal.  Given that this is their first full length, I really like what I hear.  I might have suggested putting this out as a 6 song EP, but that's just a quibble.  This is definitely a band worth keeping an eye on and if they can be more consistent in channeling their obvious enthusiasm for the genre into their songwriting I think they can really shine on their next release.  Definitely gets the Odin stamp of approval and I will look forward to bigger things in the future from Fiends At Feast.


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