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Farsot - Life Promised Death review

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Band: Farsot
Album: Life Promised Death
Style: Black metal
Release date: February 2024

01. Nausea
02. Buoyant Flames
03. Into Vertigo
04. Chimera
05. Stray Dogs
06. Descent
07. Lost Momentum

Life Promised Death may suggest a fitting title for a dark theme to surround Farsot's latest effort, but the band offer more than just darkness on this album; for their 25-year anniversary, they're pulling out all the stops for this one.

Emerging onto the scene back in Germany in 1999, Farsot perform a style of black metal with a particular unorthodox (some might perhaps even say avant-garde) approach.  Fast forward to the year 2024, and here we are presented with the band's forth full-length release to date, Life Promised Death, which also marks the band's 25-year anniversary. With three original founding members still currently active within this current five-man line-up, Farsot very much still resemble the group they once were aall those years ago, so how does this latest offering shape up after the band's return from a seven-year gap following FAIL·LURE (which was by no means a failure)? Perhaps more to the point though, is this a worthy milestone to mark the band's impressive quarter-of-a-century existence?

I'll start by saying that Life Promised Death is a fairly lengthy album, with a 50-minute running total, and three of 7 tracks clocking in at over 8 minutes. Additionally, just as expected for Farsot, the album features a variety of styles and influences, going beyond simple traditional black metal. This album is, however, different from all releases before it, and in a good way. Along with offering some of the band's most catchy and densely structured songwriting to date, this latest release also features some of their darkest lyrical content yet, along with their most memorable riff melodies, and a sound quality that has altered in a truly remarkable way, ultimately making this the band's heaviest and meatiest-sounding release yet. According to the band themselves, one of the major influences behind this new style and approach was, in fact, grunge (of all genres), as minimal as the presence of this influence may seem.

So, with all these elements in place, Life Promised Death promises to be the ideal soundtrack for these dark troubling times we live in, at least in theory anyway. Onto the opening track, "Nausea", and listeners are introduced to the record with a short atmospheric section, soon followed by heavy rolling drum beats and powerful bass lines, before a grand blackened tremolo riff is introduced. This song then features both harsh blackened shrieks and also occasional chant-like cleans, yet "Nausea" gives only a mere glimpse of what lies ahead; this is Farsot after all, and even though I wouldn't necessarily pinpoint the style as avant-garde, you still shouldn't expect each track to sound the same.

Many bands spring to mind when it comes to influences here, but let's start with the unmistakable sounds of Agalloch; throughout the album, you'll hear slightly blackened neofolk passages with exceptionally performed folkish clean singing and beautifully constructed acoustic melodies, almost sounding like something taken straight out of The Mantle. As for fans of the more traditional side of black metal, there's some dark enchanting synths sounding similar to what you'd hear on an early Burzum record, which works well alongside the traditional blackened tremolos and furrious blast-beating sections; some such riffs are so striking that they remind me of Inquisition. "Into Vertigo" also stands out for its alternating between dark, hypnotic DSBM and more upbeat and catchy songwriting. On the other hand, "Stray Dogs" provides an exceptional variety of vocal styles, from hauntingly distorted gothic cleans and harsh blackened shrieks with eerie whispers, to passionate folkish clean singing. Then you have the atmospherically dark "Descent", with its sinister narrative spoken word, creepy enchanting synths and tremolos, all of which screams out Burzum once more.

To sum it up, Life Promised Death promises to be anything but; instead, Farsot breathe new life and soul into a genre that seems to have been steadily running dry. The band say that grunge was a key inspiration behind this new approach, and I'd say somewhere within this structure there is, but you have to dig real deep to have an understanding as to where that inspiration lies, and after all, that's just the tip of the iceberg. From neo-folk and traditional black, to DSBM and meloblack, Farsot once again offer a variety of styles for every metalhead to appreciate, and this time arguably even more so than before.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written on 24.02.2024 by Feel free to share your views.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 10 users
12.03.2024 - 21:26
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Cool, thanks. I will check this album out.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
12.03.2024 - 21:29
Rating: 8
A Nice Guy
Written by Bad English on 12.03.2024 at 21:26

Cool, thanks. I will check this album out.

You definitely should, I'm guessing you'll enjoy this one

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