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Faustcoven - In the Shadow of Doom Award winner

Faustcoven
In the Shadow of Doom
by Martin "Doomed" Desbois at 01 August 2018, 2:54 AM

It's been six years now that Norway's FAUSTCOVEN has released "Hellfire and Funeral Bells," back in 2012. We had the privilege to hear two tracks from the new album this spring: "Marching in the Shadow" and "Sign of the Satanic Victory." "In the Shadow of Doom" marks their fourth full length release to date. Formed in 2002 by Gunnar Hansen as a solo project, the first two releases used programmed drum tracks,and since 2006, FAUSTCOVEN became  a duo, adding the drumming skills of Johnny Tombthrasher. The cover art is incredible, and was done by English Victorian era painter John atkinson Grimshaw. Now let’s press play. There is no intro, no synths…no samples to start with. The drums are already in action, and Gunmar’s growls can now reach me and the ritual can begin. We have mid-paced drums and so are the vocals. There is no stress, and we have time to kill.The sound is reminiscent of the mighty BATHORY. The production is strange but fascinating at the same time; the drums are in the foreground while the guitars are drowned behind the growls. We have traditional Doom Metal influences in the last part of the song. I like that.

In "The Devil’s Share," the first guitar notes evokes some Stoner and Desert Rock in a more dirtier and bleak way. All here is against what we’re used to. Time patterns, riffs, and rhythms are insanely playing with the mind. It’s good but disturbing at the same time. We can feel the evil…I’d put that track on a horror movie soundtrack anytime if it isn’t done yet. What a huge atmosphere! It makes me want to bury myself in a tomb and wait until the sun dies. Awesome gloomy shit,vocals are reminiscent of SIX FEET UNDER." "Yet he Walks" was written the Black Metal way…mixed up with Funeral Doom. The guitar made me think of the band ESOTERIC. Very cool song. "Marching in the Shadows" is very old CELTIC FROST sounding. The vocals are very interesting, such a mix of nineties old-school Death Metal with eighties obscure Thrash. Great guitar work. Building a strong atmosphere, bleak landscapes of despair and desolation. The way Mr. Hansen blends multiple influences and genres is fantastic. Very original while using already seen elements.

"Signs OF Satanic Victory" has raw drums, many effects and reverberation on the vocals. Old EDGE OF SANITY and ENTOMBED comes to mind. The vocals take most of the space, while we are offered a nice guitar solo in the end to finish this massively explorative devastation in beauty. "Lair of the Rats"  is some old school pleasure. Blackened Doom quality. The solos are mostly heard in the background, far away, and cavernous. Hellfire madness. Slowly suffering no one is spared. A Black Metal structure for the end of the song. Slow headbanging feel every second of it. This is deep and serious good Blackened Doom. "As White as She was Pale" is a really great name for ma the track. The vocals are like notes in Doom Metal  the lesser you use the more it's significant. More with less. The guitar keeps the listener struggling through this journey of eternal suffering. Don’t move or this swamp will bury you alive, enjoy it while you can. I had a very appreciated surprise at the end of the song: HARMONICA! The way it's used is very original and I think this idea should be more explored.

Finally the last one, proposes not really significant highlights except that it invites us slowly to a gradually growing sample of sea waves leading to a beautiful and sad piano melody to end this
work of pure austerity and barren universe.

Songwriting:9
Originality: 9
Memorability:9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Wicked Dead
2. The Devil's Share
3. Yet he Walks
4. Marching in the Shadows
5. Sign of Satanic Victory
6. Lair of Rats
7. As White as she was Pale
8. Qui est iste qui venit
Lineup:
Gunnar Hansen – Vocals, Guitars
Johnny Tombthrasher  - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
     


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Edited 13 December 2018
 

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