Deathcult - Beasts of Faith (Invictus Productions)

Will these old school death merchants take us to class or flunk out?
Release Date: 
26 Sep 2016 (All day)

Another day, another death metal band setting out to recreate the old school Scandinavian sound. In a genre that is glutted with classic bands keeping strong, side-projects of classic bands, classic bands rediscovering their old sound and new bands trying to sound as much as they can as the classic bands, it can be a bit difficult to stand out. There are two major ways a band playing old school sew-death can stand out, contain already famous members of other bands, and writing really damn good songs. Switzerland’s Deathcult has a bit of brand recognition working in their favour, but will it be enough?

Performing vocal duties on this album is one O. Ketzer, also known as KZR of Bolzer fame. His distinctive shrieks and howls are plastered all over this long player, which if nothing else immediately draws your attention especially if you’re a fan of that Swiss duo. The band’s decision to focus on the more weird elements of old school death metal is also helped by his presence. Traces of Autopsy and Death can be picked out from your Entombed salad like croutons. These take the form of maybe a more progressive or technical riffing, still old school to the core but from the more weird side of class. The production too is astounding, with a really warm dynamic sound to it, it manages to encapsulate what those old records sound like.

But here’s the downside, while Beasts of Faith makes many convincing caveats to the old school, listening to it just makes you want to go put on your old copy of Clandestine or Mental Funeral. It’s not that there aren’t good moments to be had, plenty of the riffs would hold up even 20 years ago, it’s just that as a whole the album is unremarkable. A Foul Glint in the middle of the record is two minutes of one quiet riff that goes nowhere and stops the flow of the record dead, while some of the later tracks go on for much longer than they should. 

Hardcore OSDM fans might find some stuff to enjoy here, but there’s better stuff out there that sounds close enough to this for me to not recommend it.

Beasts of Faith is out now.