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Thy Feeble Saviour - And Darkness Fell

Thy Feeble Saviour
And Darkness Fell
by Lauren Fonto at 23 March 2018, 2:54 AM

This is the long-awaited from blackened death metallers THY FEEBLE SAVIOUR. The duo has taken a distinctly primitive approach to their sound, and carry the torch lit by fellow “primitivists” PROFANATICA. HELLS HEADBANGERS says it well: “For And Darkness Fell is cut from a cloth too long neglected, too vile for trend-jumpers and tourists, resurrected in its most reviling form from a time when the divisions between black metal and death metal weren't so divided and divisive…” (2017, bolding mine). Francisco Pulido and Matt Heffner play extreme metal that is crude, loud, and unashamed of those characteristics. In the context of what this album, my usual rubric for assessing the loudness of the mix, instrument placement, etc. doesn’t quite apply. Overall, the mostly brick walled production works, even if there were a few instances early on where the mix seemed a slightly too loud.

For me, the most killer tracks fell within the second half of the album. “Obscenity of the Cross” creates a feel of impending death with tolling bells. Slow riffs add a sense of finality, and the bells emphasize this. Riffs slither in, then drums, adding tension. “Disgrace the Throne” is out to tear apart propriety, with mighty drum rolls laying out a path of destruction. The atmospheric guttural vocals are inhuman, and create a sense of unease. Cymbal chokes open “Darkest Path to Death”, and the blast beats are a swift storm bringing only an ending of life. The black metal rasps add a sense of decay; of something long dead. The slower breaks are effective, and prevent potential monotony setting in. The length of the tracks works well throughout the album; the simple riffs retain their potency because they aren’t overextended. “Crurifracture (The End)” and “Mocked and Despised” are, together, a powerful climax to the album. The former seems to tell the story of the death itself, with its murky riffs like a miasma from a tomb. The last track has an infectious slow break, yet the bells toll in a death knell; for me, this was the “second death”, as fewer remember the deceased, and those who do only mock and despise them.

Perhaps this album won’t be a repeat listen for everyone. In some parts, the album didn’t grab me. But I respect what these American hellraisers have done on “And Darkness Fell” – while their music is indeed primitive, that doesn’t seem to be an excuse to play the music in any old way.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Corpse of the Crucified
2. Engulfed in Abhorrence
3. Torture Stake
4. And Darkness Fell
5. Provoked Crucifixion
6. Procession to Calvary
7. Destruction of the Holy Sepulchre
8. Scourge Him
9. Obscenity of the Cross
10. Carrion for Beasts
11. Disgrace the Throne
12. Darkest Path to Death
13. Crurifracture (The End)
14. Mocked and Despised
Francisco Pulido – Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Matt Heffner – Drums
Record Label: Hells Headbangers


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Edited 16 October 2021

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