It’s all very well playing fast and brutal, and indeed doing both things better than anyone else (like my beloved Cannibal Corpse), but sometimes you want a bit more…. “hideousness”,  a bit more “damp dungeon” a bit more “impending dread” and a touch of “oppressive nastiness”. But what you don’t want is some boring droney gloom-fest doom metal rubbish.

Some DM bands nail that vibe on every record, whether it’s the blasphemous and bestial music of Incantation or the weird, nihilistic vibe of Immolation there are some death metal bands that can just flick a switch and draw you in way more than others. Which, boys and girls, leads me to this the new album by Atlanta natives Father Befouled.

These chaps have been on the plot since 2008 with their murky blend of Morbid Angel & Incantation and , along with a fistful of EPs and splits have been pretty prolific. This is their fourth album following on from 2012’s “Revulsion Of Seraphic Grace” and their best release so far.

This is pure, blasphemic underground death fucking metal which positively stinks of damp soil and grave mould. Grim, rotting downright horrible death metal, the perfect companion piece to the Akatharta album I’d reviewed previously.

I found this album to be really addictive, helped no doubt by the songs being a sensible length. Father Befouled go in, shit you up and get out again without any song ever overstaying its welcome. With eight solid tracks and running at just over half an hour you won’t be bored and, on a long drive this week I played it through back to back three times.

The vile riffing and lead work of Justin Stubbs and Derrik Goulding is both razor precise and frighteningly vicious while having that nasty claustrophobic feeling that I’ve only really heard emanating from the fretboard of John McEntee.  “Ungodly Rest” is a great example of a combination of exactly that and Justin’s demonic growls only accentuate the feeling of “oh fuck me we’re all gonna die”.

The mix and production is spot on. You don’t want a crystal clear Andy Sneap like job with an album like this, you want a bit of grime and morbidity and that’s what you get.

Essential underground death metal. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.

(9/10 Mark Eve)