Released: 2017, Dark Descent Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Like adiopocere slowly congealing beneath a corpse in the early stages of putrefaction, Father Befouled oozes black filth and pungent secretions across their latest release, DESOLATE GODS.
As the fourth full length from the Atlanta-based blasphemers, DESOLATE GODS doesn’t deviate from the funeral procession previously tread on albums like REVULSIONS OF SERAPHIC GRACE or MORBID DESTITUTION OF COVENANT; ugly riffs that owe a debt of gratitude to early Incantation and Autopsy smeared across militaristic percussion beats, while Justin Stubbs’ vomits monstrous vocal emanations. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
But DESOLATE GODS is certainly a better ‘sounding’ album than any of its predecessors. The tunes on REVULSIONS were trapped too far in the muck at times, and MORBID DESTITUTION was much too clean and bright sounding for a band of this ilk. DESOLATE GODS is like the Goldilocks of Father Befouled records; it’s just right. It’s a warmer, more natural sounding album (almost like a live studio mix) that creates an uncomfortably dense setting for the listener, but it doesn’t dictate how the individual tunes are presented. More melodic moments in “Exalted Offal” and “Vestigial Remains of...” shine through as intended whilst anchored to the beastly core of each tune, while the closing title track inserts some unrestrained death shred blast beats that counterbalances the slumbering weight of the main riffs.
Collectively, these subtle sonic nudges and a generally healthier batch of tunes make all the difference in the world for a band like Father Befouled. DESOLATE GODS could just as easily have been
titled “THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO SAY ALL ALONG, THANKS FOR STICKING WITH US.” So when you’re looking for the right soundtrack to compliment a night of grave desecration and/or just hangin’ with the fellas and conjuring some demons from the nether realm, Father Befouled has you covered with DESOLATE GODS.