Altar of Instant Gratification

I don’t hear a lot about bands from Iceland. Sure, there’s Solstafir, and I’m positive many others, but they don’t come to mind. Duft is one such band, so add them. The country of origin is notable, but it’s not as if we have a new Solstafir. They’re entirely different. However, you should be paying attention to Duft, who reach for the moon on their debut, Altar of Instant Gratification.

In various segments of the album, you’ll probably question if you’re still listening to the same band. These guys aren’t here to be restrained by genre conventions. In the opening track (after the intro), “Caved In,” I thought I was in for over an hour of metalcore. The shouted vocals, the hardcore-styled pre-chorus, bouncy verses, and a breakdown all lend themselves to this assumption.

As my spirit animal, Tina Belcher would say, “butt…” There are other metalcore tracks but check out “Scarfaced Blues” with its near-death metal approach. It’s only around 2 minutes and still flirts endlessly with metalcore, but on the heavier side.

Without a doubt, my favorite track, “20th Century Doom,” bashes my head in with a healthy dose of sludge. Or unhealthy. It’s a matter of opinion. After a minute-long intro, we could some sludgy, nasty vocals to go with the music, sounding a lot like Black Anvil. There are some black metal tinges in the vocals, but also echoes of doom. There are some synths/keys in the background, which never gain prominence, but still have their place.

The next one, “Anomic Suicide,” is a brief burst of hardcore. Sure, it can still be labeled metalcore, but it’s the kind in which current bands such as Tombstoner make their mark. The shouted vocals and constant stomp are hardcore, but there are still those metalcore elements, especially in the drums.

The runtime on the album is well over an hour, and I challenge you to be bored by it because it flies by. The final track is not one of those 12-minute epics either, making the album feel bloated. It’s standard length at around 4-minutes (That’s a long time, ladies), passionate, and heavy as hell. It’s death metalcore with traditionally shouted vocals, and Knocked Loose yelps (only briefly, luckily). It’s a statement to end the album.

I’m impressed. Duft have crafted something special, even if it can feel slightly disjointed. Employing so many different styles keeps it interesting, but of course can have that unintended consequence of sounding like a band who is just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks. Luckily, they don’t cross into that territory. Not in style, but certainly in approach, they remind me of The Offering. That’s high praise. I hope they continue to find themselves, as well as try new things. If so, their trajectory is high, and they’ll be a band to follow.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
May 24th, 2024


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