Review: Chthe’ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule

Canada has a weird metal empire within its pleasant borders. Over the years Gorguts has become death metal royalty, Thantifaxath and Auroch have broken out, Mitochondrion have gained immense steam, and Cryptopsy… well, their name is still printed at the top of every copy of None So Vile. The good news for all of us is that whatever Canada has been putting in the water is still there, and it shows on the debut album from “newcomers” Chthe’ilist.

I say “newcomers” because Chthe’ilist actually released their demo in 2012 and count among their ranks members of Serocs and Beyond Creation. All in all they’re fairly experienced for a new name to most of us and have had plenty of time to hone their craft. This is their first full length though, and to cut to the chase, it is one hell of a debut. The album opens with what sounds to be a whirling thunderstorm that steadily gives way to bells, raindrops, and eventually drums and the slow march of a tremolo riff that builds and builds before hanging a hard right into the muscular yet jangly opening riff of “Into the Vaults of Ingurgitating Oblivion”. One minor thing to note: these gentlemen know how to title songs. The song soon dips in pace before a hellish frogman howl overtakes everything and all hell is unleashed. Some of the riffs that follow are best described as Demilich-ian, but it would be unfair and wholly inaccurate to categorize the band as another simply wishing to be the Finnish legends. The Demilich influence is merely part of a much more interesting and strange whole.

As “Oblivion” ends you hear the sounds of some subterranean creatures croaking as they snap and feast on the bones and flesh of whatever poor fool wandered into their path. The album has little touches like this that go a long way towards creating an otherworldly atmosphere and general sense of discomfort. The next track, “Voidspawn,” opens with a slow crawl that I can best describe as if Autopsy stared into the void and it stared back before eventually giving way to a bouncy, pinch harmonic laden riff. The highlight of this track, and perhaps the album, are the leads. Death metal of this kind usually breeds gnarled and ugly solos reminiscent of Slayer. They enter and exit in a flash, a jumble of notes on the outskirts of coherence. This not the case with Chthe’ilist. The leads here are measured and buttery smooth, bringing to mind a slowed tech death without the furious masturbation. These are sweet and calculated strokes of notes meant for maximum ecstasy, not just mindless wankery. Bonus points for trading leads, an art I thought had been all but forgotten.

The bass is no slouch either. The intro to “Voices from Beneath the Well” pops with a slap bass line that would make Les Claypool proud. It can sometimes get buried in the rather thick production but mostly holds its own and adds a dimension that a lot of death metal is lacking.

While a lot of what I have described to you will sound very Lovecraftian in nature, you’ll be interested to know that that is actually not the case. As the band has pointed out on their Facebook page (and as should be obvious from the title of the final track) the tracks that aren’t original stories are based on The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time. I’ve never been a big Zelda fan (I HAD A PLAYSTATION GROWING UP, I’M SORRY) so some of the finer points are probably lost on a plebeian like me.

Cool Zelda references and bass aside, the album isn’t without its flaws. The biggest is that some songs tend to run together a bit. This is perhaps from some similar sounding riffs or from some very similar song structures throughout the album. Most tend to follow the same pattern of when to speed up, slow down and break for leads which is a bit disappointing given how refreshing everything else is. Of course, that formula works VERY well for every song on the album, so it’s hard to be too down on it.

Good debut death metal albums seem to fall into two categories: Instant classics and solid foundations for much stranger explorations. Le Dernier Crépuscule falls somewhere in the middle. I fully expect it to hold its own against every other death metal album released this year and possibly find a home on some year end lists, but it has also shown a penchant for oddness while restraining itself. As they further refine their sound and explore weirder compositions Chthe’ilist could easily become king of the death metal mountain. This is a very good album from a very good band, but what comes next from them could easily be very great or a classic.

NEW_TOILETSCALE_4_of_5

Le Dernier Crépuscule is out January 29th via Profound Lore. You can order it here and give the band all of your likes here.

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Published on: January 21, 2016

Filled Under: Reviews

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  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    I’m gonna give this a spin, someone sent me this promo this week but I haven’t listened to anything other than the advance, yet.

    • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

      Sup Ed?! Good to see/hear you!

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        What’s up Taco! Hey, you too.

      • Dagon

        A party of the lost & found

  • Dubs

    Mustache bear is my favorite bear. This is right up my alley! Also, you dorks are going to hear more about the Zelda references, whether you like it or not.

    • ME GORAK, RIFF OV WEEK CHAMP

      ZELDA ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!

      • Dubs

        You will be pleased tomorrow, my friend.

      • Zelda Rocks, Boulders are Rocks. Boulders are in Colorado. BOULDER COLORADO. DUBS IS FROM COLORADO SPRINGS. ENGINES HAVE VALVES. VALVES USE SPRINGS.

        I mean come on! Right?

        • Dubs

          WAKE UP SHEEPLE

          • #tacodildo
            #n3v3rforg3t

          • Yes my good sir, I’ll take the Tacodildo combo meal please. Also, can you big gulp that for me too? Thanks

          • 128oz gulp or GTFO

          • Stockhausen

            This image took a long time to load due to my terrible internet, but I knew it would be this scene.

        • ME GORAK, RIFF OV WEEK CHAMP

          ????????????????

        • VALVE IS A COMPANY THAT MAKES GAMES
          THEY ALSO MADE HALF-LIFE 1 & 2
          HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED

    • Waynecro

      Zelda anything >>>>>>>>

      I actually went to The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Godesses a few years back, and it was fantastic. My brother is one of the biggest Zelda nerds I’ve ever met. He even has a UV tattoo of the Triforce on the back of his hand.

      • Dubs

        I want to go to one.

        • Waynecro

          It was really epic.

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      Ooooh, Beargod’s gonna be fucking pissed.

      • Dagon

        WORLD STAR!

    • Dagon

      I like this too, oddly enough. The stomping in Voidspawn is rad.

  • I tried it out. Meh…

    http://i.giphy.com/iNu3AKI1Jt2Kc.gif

    • Dubs

      Do you like Incantation? They’re very clearly influenced by Incantation.

      • Yeah, I like Incantation and I hear the influence for sure. Too much time signature and guitar wankery for my liking. Not bad at all it just didn’t excite me.

        • Dubs

          I see. I’m enjoying this Summum album. I’m kinda surprised you dig it. It’s pretty out there.

          • Yeah, it sounds very improvised to which sort of fascinates me. Also the man (Swartadauþuz) that is behind this project is involved in two of my most listened to bands as of now; Azelisassath and Bekëth Nexëhmü. The production and drums sound incredible on this Summum album. Lots of cold atmosphere of what is essentially unscripted chaos. I don’t even think Swartadauþuz knew exactly what he was doing with this project. It just sort of came out this way while the record button was pressed down.

          • Dubs

            It’s almost entirely atmosphere, lending it a very convincing effect. I’ll probably try to buy this at some point.

          • Haha, well hot damn. I actually ordered a copy early this week. Really looking forward to hearing it the way it’s intended (NOT ON YOUTUBE). Definitely going listen to it in the dark, maybe even light some candles to set the mood 😉 Glad you like it, it’s certainly eerie. Sort of a mix between Nortt and Gravecode Nebula.

          • Dubs

            Where did you buy it?

          • It’s on vinyl so I don’t know if that causes an issue or not. I think CD’s are on the way though from what I’ve read somewhere.

            http://arcanealtar.bigcartel.com/product/summum-benedictus-qui-venit-12-lp

          • Dubs

            I buy vinyl too, but not as often.

          • Cool. This is a good one to have on vinyl I think. One of those albums you can sort of throw the headphones on and sit back and get lost in.

          • RJA

            Dude, the Beketh records are already gone from there? (you wait a day to make a purchase…) You holler if you see them anywhere else. And yes, Tyree and Dubs, this Summum record is pretty crazy.

          • Oh shit. Both are gone now. Damn that full-length LP sold out in a day. I didn’t think the CD of the demo would go too. Shit man, I’ll keep you posted. I know you can buy them from overseas but that shipping is fucked.

          • RJA

            I did get my copy of the Misþyrming record the other day – thanks for the heads up on that one. Although I think it may have taken 2 or 3 days to sell out this time!

          • It still blows my mind that so many people want that album and they still can’t produce enough copies for everyone. Glad you got one finally though!

          • Stanley

            I’m slowly making my way through the 3 Svartrit albums. Excellent stuff although I need to spend a lot of time with them.

          • Looking forward to getting to Svartrit. I’m still hooked on Bekëth Nexëhmü and Grifteskymfning at the moment.

          • Stanley

            Have you seen the records anywhere?

          • Vinyl?

          • Stanley

            Yep.

          • Stanley

            This post is pretty old.

            I tried Ancient Records last night but their website is just a couple of pictures. And they don’t have a band camp anymore.

          • Dang, I didn’t look at the date. Not sure duder, I’ll have to research some more later on.

          • Stanley

            Do you recognize the riff at 6:09?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpRyEfF9Gi8

          • Damn, definitely sounds similar to Mgla riff that I can’t place the song too.

          • Stanley

            WHTN VII

          • Boom!

    • Pretty surprised by that

  • I love this fucking album.

  • Definitely looking forward to this. Hail caverns.

  • It’s ok leif, I also had a playstation and have never gotten an opportunity to try zelda either.

    • Dubs

      What better place than here? What better time than now?

      • I mean I want to, but I don’t really have an interest in other nintendo games and im not one to buy a console for a single game.

        • Dubs

          That’s fair. You can play a lot of the Zelda titles on 3DS. Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, A Link to the Past, Four Swords, Link’s Awakening, A Link Between Worlds, and Tri Force Heroes can all be played on the handheld.

          • I also don’t have a 3ds lol. Plus I’ve become hooked on dragons dogma. Bought it on a whim and its quite good.

          • Dubs

            I was just pointing out that if you were to buy a console, that one probably offers the most Zelda bang for your buck.

          • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

            Not a bad new-FF clone at all.

          • Waynecro

            The 3DS port of Ocarina of Time is really great, and A Link between Worlds is a ton of fun. A Link to the Past remains my favorite Zelda game, though.

          • Dubs

            Surprisingly, AlttP is one of the three canon games in the series I have never finished. I have it, but when I started I was defending my Thesis or something and just got sidetracked and haven’t gotten back to it.

          • Waynecro

            Other than the original Zelda game, it’s the only game in the franchise that I’ve actually finished. I tend to play and complete it every few years because I like it so much.

          • I think I had Zelda for Nitendo 64. Much like I am now, I was too impatient to get through it. So, I just played Death Match on Golden Eye instead. Those adventure/mission games always bored me. Give me something to fight, shoot, and destroy.

          • Dubs

            Well, Goldeneye was an incredible game, so you didn’t make a bad choice.

          • It really was. I wouldn’t mind playing it again. Some other games I vaguely remember enjoying a lot were Driver and Twisted Metal 3. Twisted Metal 3 had some metal on it too which was a plus. It probably all sucks to me now though.

          • Waynecro

            Yeah, I tend to lack the patience necessary to complete massive adventure games as well. I failed to complete Ocarina of Time on the N64 when the game first came out and again when the 3DS port came out.

          • Dagon

            I’d spare several moments

          • I’m coming to Brazil huehueheuhue

          • Dagon

            COME

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Yes. Please, come on in. Have some tea.

          • This is a txt I got from my pregnant wife last Saturday morning:

            “I just answered the door to damn Jehovah Witnesses. If I would have known it was them, I would have grabbed a Miller Light from the fridge and yelled, “What you all want? Can’t you see a girl is trying to get here buzz on up in here?””

            <3

          • YES. PLEASE COME IN. HELP ME FIND MY….. ERR… SWORD. YES. SWORD!

          • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

            How old is she? She can talk to me about Zelda any time

          • I’ll watch/listen to her read the phone book if she wants. Hubba hubba.

          • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD
  • CyberneticOrganism

    I’ll have to check this out, but I really, really hate the idea of bands writing songs based on video games. You’re not 12. Come up with your own ideas.

    • Dubs

      I definitely see where you’re coming from, but my question would be how different is it for the band to tell a story inspired by a video game series that has a well-developed fantasy universe that has been around since the 80s? In my mind, that’s not much different than writing a song based on some young adult Fantasy book. What do you think?

      • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

        Harry Potter concept album inc

        • Dubs

          I’d be surprised if one hadn’t been written already.

          • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

            Two albums, Platform 9 3/4 (industrial magical train based metal) and Wingardium Leviosa ( alan rickman tribute band)

          • Dubs

            Well, there you have it.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            What kind of music is this Wingardium Rickman?

          • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

            Potions infused dm

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Hmm, must check.

          • Snape-inspired Doom band.

        • Dagon

          I’ve always wanted to write a Harry Potter concept rap album.

      • I think this is the same for me.

        The real issue isn’t the source rather than the final product.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      By same logic you would also hate every movie and/or TV series based on a book?

      And albums insoired by literature?
      I mean, ho wwould they be any different from ones based on video games.

      • video games are for nerds

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Not going that far, I’m just not a fan of albums that use video games as their story/concept/inspiration. To me it comes off as “Hey man, do you like Ocarina of Time? The water temple & all that? That was awesome, right? You wanna hear my metal album about it?”

        • Dubs

          I think I can see where you’re coming from.

        • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

          And the answer is maybe

          • Guacamole Jim

            If it sounds like the above band, hell yeah!

          • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

            If taytay made zelda metal

        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          Well, I guess I can see that.
          I just find myself enjoying some worlds/lores created for games more than quite a few others.
          As such they seem easy to build on as well.

    • Guacamole Jim

      The problem with this is it almost implies that not all art comes from inspiration – a sentiment with which I heartily disagree. Some artists wear their influences on their sleeve, and some may choose to utilize less expansive influences than others, but nobody makes art in a vacuum. Saying “come up with your own ideas” as if all art isn’t a combination of inspiration, thievery, and originality seems a bit dismissive.

    • R.M.T.

      Such a dumb comment. How is writing a song based on a video game any different than writing one based on a book or film? They’re no less legitimate an artform.

  • LVL 10 BLACKBEARD

    No track embed?

  • Stockhausen

    Looking forward to many a listen. Now I want to re-read Ben Drowned.

    • Dubs

      You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?

      • Stockhausen

        You shouldn’t have done that.

  • I’m finally listening Voidspawn and I really like the fat guitar tone, suits the cavernous overall thematic in a good way along the subtle dissonances. I would like to check the entire record and delve unto this. Good review, Leif!

  • Celtic Frosty

    I pre-ordered this CD and received it last Friday, so I’ve had some time to jam the full album over the last week. It’s a really solid death metal album that reminds me of a more restrained Artificial Brain. Not as good as that album, of course. This review is pretty much on the money. Good job, Bear.

    • Leif Bearikson

      Gracias, senor Frosty!

  • Scrimm

    I still want this album but Zelda<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    • Dubs

      You’re a rat bastard, but I love you.

  • Eliza

    This album is great! It’s one of the few times I listened to something before it’s posted here.