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Festinate - "Festinate" (Demo)

Festinate - "Festinate" Demo cover image

"Festinate" track listing:

1. The Humanix (5:35)
2. Lies In Weight (4:26)
3. Thrymheim (6:07)
4. No Light (4:20)
5. Megabomb (8:24)

Reviewed by on December 23, 2010

"Air-guitar worthy solos, growled vocals over blast beats, thrashy riffs, and some traditional metal bombast? Yes please!"

This might sound strange, but I wait to evaluate the quality of a book until I have completely finished reading it. When it comes to metal however, all I really care about is cool cover art and a killer name, and I prejudge solely on those factors. So you can imagine my disappointment when I got Festinate’s five song demo in the mail from Metal Underground HQ. An olive green (read: puke) background has dull yellow (read: human discharge number one) block letters spelling the band’s name. The name itself – Festinate – sounds like some grind mess, or at best sloppy a-tonal black metal with bad production and no bass. So imagine how quickly my pants dropped when the first thing out of my speakers was…. A layered guitar solo!

I was pleasantly surprised that Festinate plays an amalgamation of thrash, traditional, and death without really falling into melodic death styles. “The Humanix” is the best cut on the demo, as it has nicely growled vocals and the aforementioned (and subsequent) layered leads mixed in with blast beats and anthemic bridge sections. Fun stuff for sure.

While the remaining four songs aren’t as strong as “The Humanix,” Festinate still focuses on its core competencies, which makes the baseline of performance higher than most demos. “Lies In Weight” has the best harsh vocals on the album and the chugging groove is played out well with the changing tempos. The opening lead for “Thrymheim” is slow and deliberate, just the type of thing Iron Maiden would love.

But all is not roses, of course (is it ever?). “Thrymheim” gets pretty messy leading up to and after the proggy bit, and that proggy bit isn’t as spicy as it could be, although the juxtaposition is nice. “Megabomb” would pack more punch in half the time. “No Light” has nice layers but never gets the melody soaring like it should. The production values could also be kicked up a fair bit (the clean vocals in particular could use a better sound), but the band admits in the press material that the demo was “recorded, mixed and mastered in just three days at a very modest price,” so it can get a pass there too.

Formed from the ashes of the now belly-up Akron, Ohio band Finality, Festinate certainly has potential. Air-guitar worthy solos, growled vocals over blast beats, thrashy riffs, and some traditional metal bombast? Yes please! If you are in to underground bands, do yourself a favor and trade some tapes for this demo – you’ll be a stud in a few years when these guys start touring with the big boys. But a note to Festinate - just do everyone a favor and find a new name. I heard this cool band name a while back but I don’t think it’s taken… something about “Judas” and priests maybe?

Highs: The layered solos provide the fireworks and emotive qualities the music needs.

Lows: The (admittedly) poor production hurts the overall sound.

Bottom line: New death-thrash-trad metal up-and-comers show lots of potential in disguise.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)