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Father Befouled - "Morbid Destitution of Covenant" (CD)

Father Befouled - "Morbid Destitution of Covenant" CD cover image

"Morbid Destitution of Covenant" track listing:

1. Inno Sepulchrum
2. Sacrilegious Defilement of Deranged Salvation
3. Idol Defamation
4. As Reverence Descends
5. Paradise of Desecrated Nothingness
6. Sulfurous Majesty Above Man
7. Testament of Unholy Essence
8. Vomiting Impurity
9. His Divine Pestilence
10. Christless Mass
11. Now Desecrated

Reviewed by on January 12, 2011

"Father Befouled needs to find a sense of direction if they hope to have the average death metal listener take notice."

In the early U.S. death metal scene, almost any of the early bands became instant classics due to the novelty factor. As time went on, the bands that became successful either had that technical factor to set them apart, memorable songwriting or a gimmick. In the vast sea of bands these days, you have to have one of the three to stand a chance of being well received, as there are too many bands to support average or lackluster newcomers.

One such new entrant is Georgia death metal ensemble Father Befouled. While this is not their first musical offering, "Morbid Destitution of Covenant" is their first full-length release. In their bio statement, they mention how sacrosanct they are in disavowing anything holy, so I prepared myself for a truly evil listening experience. But from the onset, I realize it was not to be. After a brief intro titled "Inno Sepulchrum," the scene is set for "Sacrilegious Defilement of Deranged Salvation," a decent death metal track that changes up from time to time to a slower plodding riff. The quandary is, the time changes seem to be assembled like a shoddy placement of puzzle pieces, resulting in a track that never really gets off the ground. Song arranging needs to make sense to create a changing palate of sound and here it doesn't do that.

Father Befouled somehow don't realize that just being evil won't save their music. Ghoat is decent for a nihilistic-sounding vocalist, but the music just isn't there to support him. Track after track goes by with the same exact structure. "Sulfurous Majesty Above Man" captures a faster sound, but here again are the same chords thrown together at different intervals. Add to that intros that culminate into nothing, like "As Reverence Descends," and the listening experience is spotty at best. "Now Desecrated," the outro to the album, ironically ends up being one of the better songs with its eerie overtones. When an instrumental outshines some of the more ballistic tracks, you know there is a problem.

I have heard references to Father Befouled's sound echoing Incantation, but somehow, I don't see it. The latter had a fairly polished delivery and the former is barely finding their way. "Vomiting Impurity" shows that they can craft some decent guitar leads at the onset, but yet again, it is another track that gets drowned in a sea of aimless ambiguity. Further confusion awaits in "Testament of Unholy Essence," with a drum sound and production so thin, it's almost as if it is skipping or running out of speed. The rest of the album follows suit, delivering nonsensical instrumentals and death metal numbers of low impact due to lack of songwriting prowess.

As a result, "Morbid Destitution of Covenant" comes across like a garage practice session, lacking the chops to be a contending force in the scene. Father Befouled need to find a sense of direction if they hope to have the average death metal listener take notice.

Highs: Vocals and leads show some promise

Lows: Lack of song structure and direction

Bottom line: Father Befouled needs to be more individual if they want to be a contending force.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

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)