I know it’s a broad, sweeping generalization, but it’s a pretty common phenomenon for metal, and death metal in particular to have a geographical sound or recognizable style. You’ve got Sweden’s buzzsaws, Florida’s punchy technicality, New Yawk’s groove, Finland’s filth and Canada’s uber complexity.

But what is Norway’s know death metal sound? It’s not really a hotbed of any singular style of death metal, being traditional a black metal haven, although plenty of good death metal bands have come from there. Early Darkthrone, Cadaver, Blood Red Throne, Execration, or Obliteration have all culled from other geographical sounds . But you can’t really hang your hat on a truly “Norwegian death metal sound”.

And Norway’s Féleth  aren’t about to change that.

Although haling from near the Arctic circle, Féleth, with a band name that imbues churning, cavernous murky death metal, have instead chosen a distinctly Canadian sound to cull from, even pulling in Cryptopsy guitarist Christian Donaldson, to mix and master the band’s fine debut album.

This is tight, punchy modern slightly technical death metal, with a slight deathcore lean. It’s pretty solid in all facets, and has a nice mix of big burly grooves, blasts and even some melodic death metal gallops,  as all heard immediately in openers “Ember” and “Hollow Words” as well as throughout the album in “Ravenous”, personal favorite “Dissolution” (which has a jazzy little break from out of nowhere) , “Pale Tongue” (even with its odd little clean break) , “Arise”, and closer “Swan Song”.

It’s a very well played and crisply rendered, with a satisfying, meaty tone that carries the material with a confident heft and adequate, if more core -ish vocals that cover the usual barks, growls and screams. The 35 minute album is overall very enjoyable, even with a couple of forced ‘experimental’ bits as these guys are better when they bare down and bludgeon. But in the big, year long scheme of 2020,  I can’t say I’ll be craving Depravity for my listening needs as the year wanes on.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 1st, 2020


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