A Celebration of Death

That old adage about never judging a book by its cover, while generally a good idea, is especially prudent in the case of Fester’s A Celebration of Death. Expecting to be flung into a rotting grave of stench-riddled old school Swedish death metal based on the cover art, it was quickly discovered upon listening that first impressions were horribly off, as a brooding amalgam of death, black, industrial, doom, goth-ish and goat knows what else emanated from the speakers instead (and from Norway, as it would turn out).

A Celebration of Death is, indeed, an homage to the extinguishing of life’s flame, though in not such an overt manner as initially thought. It seems that Fester, living up to their namesake, take a unique and uneasy approach to layering, building, and ultimately burrowing under the skin of their listeners. Unsettling elements of distortion, feedback, gritty vocals and industrial sections grate and squeal over melancholy and oft dissonant guitar work, creating a dark, hazy atmosphere likened to a macabre stroll through a glossy mausoleum.

To fully appreciate (or abhor) the poison that Fester dishes out, it must be taken in its full dose. Listen to A Celebration of Death in its entirety and allow yourself to become absorbed by its ambiance…anything less would be futile. Tracks like the intoxicating and bleak “The Black Tower” and the crunchy and battle-torn “Jeg spytter på deg (I spit on you)” help to construct the palpable sense of dread which permeates the album. Continue on with “Last Day of Battle,” parts I and II, a solemn and somber two-part affair that marches through thrashy blackness with the subtlety of a tank. Of note is closer “Rites of Mortiis,” an industrial remix of opening track “Rites of Ceres” by fellow Norwegian Mortiis. It’s an appropriate come-down from an album’s worth of weird, atmospheric filth.

A Celebration of Death is not for the queasy or closed-minded. Its liberal fusion of elements from various genres, metal and non, make it a mixed bag that many metal purists may turn their noses up at, but Fester have certainly created a unique atmospheric beast in it that leaves an undeniably new and odd-shaped dent on the landscape of extreme metal.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jodi Van Walleghem
May 21st, 2012


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this sounds like something I’d like.

  2. Commented by: Bobby Rainsaw

    Gotta check this out! Sounds like a cold and dark expirience..

  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    ooh, sicknasty. kind of more cleanly produced than I was expecting, but it’s got a nice mix of old and new BM evil.

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