Death Metal quartet Father Befouled, Chicago's masters of the brutally morose, have released upon our ears their third full length, 'Revulsion Of Seraphic Grace', the follow up to 2010s mournful yet punishing masterpiece, 'Morbid Destitution Of Covenant'.
'Revulsion Of Seraphic Grace' consists of seven tracks and is a concise thirty six minutes of dense, oppressive sound. Father Befouled are not a band that try to be over elaborate with their sound; all the atmosphere is created through slow, heavy, down tuned riffs, low guttural vocals and clever phrasing.
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The first track, 'Indulgence Of Abhorrent Prophecies' opens with a fairly fast tempo and immediately the sinister and oppressive feel hits you, created by that down tuning and the sheer heaviness of the riffs all compounded by the terrifyingly low vocals.
Initially starting with a slower tempo, 'Irreverent Ascendancy'¬†speeds up midway to elevate the levels of terror and horror created so far, causing a desperate sense of urgency in your mind. 'Devourment Of Piety' I found to be a fascinating track because quite strangely, it has a bleak groove to it in places, making it very catchy in a doom laden way.
From the offset, 'Obscurance Of Universality' is frantic and intense, laced with shrill guitar work, giving a sense of urgency before dropping into a slow oppressive tempo. The track switches regularly between these two moods to build huge amounts of atmosphere and interest.
Another track with a sinister groove going on is 'Desacrament', created by the repeat riff pattern that makes up the basis of this track, complemented by the equally sinister vocalisation.
With its fast tempo from the start, 'Impetus To Angelic Descension' is another track with a terrifying urgency about it, briefly allowing your fear respite by slowing in tempo midway and ending with an excellent depressing solo that culminates in distortion.
The final track, 'Triumvirate Of Liturgical Desecration' is a slow morbid opener with slow, pounding atmospheric drums and crashing cymbals which work to great effect. As the longest track on the album at almost ten minutes it is impressive, both for its variance, endurance and sustained level of terror.
Given the heavyweight pedigree of the morbid maestros that make up Father Befouled, a certain standard is expected. Ghoat on vocals/guitars (ex Hills Of Sefiroth), Ghoul on guitars from Abyssion, Elektrokutioner from Festered and Encoffination on drums, Jake Kohn on bass from Prosanctus Inferi and Black Funeral and not surprisingly they achieve this on this latest offering.
'Revulsion Of Seraphic Grace' is out now on Dark Descent Records.