Festerday - Iihtallan
Season Of Mist
Death Metal
16 songs (52:49)
Release year: 2019
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

A band originally formed by more famous ...And Oceans and Havoc Unit members in their early teens, Festerday was a short-lived death metal group influenced by Carcass (their name being taken from a song on 1988's delightful Reek of Putrefaction). They released three demos and a split before the first of many break-ups and new projects of various genres, reforming their original band in 2013 for a demo re-release and deciding to work on new material. Few would pretend to be as pleased with this as if we were to have new ...And Oceans or even Havoc Unit, yet as far as old school death metal goes, Iihtallan is more than solid and even has a couple of surprises up its rotting sleeve.

The root of the music is old-school death metal, sometimes closer to Cannibal Corpse and sometimes Entombed, but always with a hugely enjoyable groove that's easy to headbang to, particularly on the first song after the intro, Edible Excrement. Some tracks may be a little slower (Tongues for Rotten Kisses and Dreaming for the Dead, for example) with a bit more doom-death in the mix, some faster, more death-grind than death with less defined riffs and greater brutality (Kill Your Truth, Flowers of Bones) but all are above-average necksnappers with their heart and soul in the roots of the genre that could have come out at least twenty-five years ago. If there's a single problem with the album from the outset, it's the length at over fifty minutes and sixteen tracks, yet those who enjoy the genre (and if you don't, this really isn't for you) won't mind a little extra, and the album doesn't drag at all.

Your favourites will depends on you, but given even some of the slower, sub-two minute tracks like Flowers of Stone are as good as the longer tracks (nothing reaching five minutes) it's not an easy question to answer. Even when doing a more typical Corpsean banger like Into the Void the band are still intense and gripping, throwing in a darkly atmospheric opening groove before kicking up the tempo. And that greater sense of atmosphere continues throughout the closing tracks of the album, Constructive Decomposition upping the dread and even briefly revving up to goregrind tempo. That's not even to mention the likes of The Human Race Disgrace or Your Saliva My Vagina which are good enough on their own to be highlights of lesser albums, the latter having an intriguing touch of early At The Gates at points. It's closing salvos Let Me Entertain Your Entrails parts 1 and 2 that really catch your attention as they go all-out black metal, however, the first a snowstorm of blasts and early Darkthrone-esque riffings before becoming clearer and more epic with backing Bathory-esque clean vocals, the second even rawer. It'd be great to hear more pure black metal from this particular bunch of Finns, and much of the album is rather straightforward given the experimental credentials of the band members yet so good is the material on Iihtallan that it's easy to forgive, and any fan of old-school extreme metal will find much to like here.

Killing Songs :
Edible Excrement, Kill Your Truth, Dreaming for the Dead, Into the Void, Let Me Entertain Your Entrails pt 1
Goat quoted 75 / 100
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