FIENDS AT FEAST / TRAGIC DEATH
“PURGATORY RITES”
HORROR PAIN GORE DEATH PRODUCTIONS

A label coming out with some really excellent and varied material these past couple
years,
HORROR GORE PAIN DEATH, has teamed up two US Black / Death Metal
bands on one CD (and also digitally for you Internet aficionados) for just over 40
minutes of material. California’s
FIENDS AT FEAST, having formed in 2007, are
following up their “TOWARDS THE BAPHOMENT'S THRONE” CD from 2012
(also unleashed by
HORROR GORE PAIN DEATH). The FIENDS AT FEAST
material here is fast and just a wee short of total chaos. The one factor seeming to hold
everything together is lead guitarist Azazel.  The music’s tight, but it always seems to be
on the edge of falling into the maelstrom, blast beats and all of the accompanying
weaponization.  One of the big downfalls of production technology is over produced,
clean and fast Death Metal. I hate that, and thankfully
FIENDS AT FEAST don’t fall
into this pothole, so its all up to them to keep this from devolving into a twisted mess,
and they do that well. They seem to do this predominantly with the lead guitar. It’s like
an intricately woven substructure that really brings everything together.  It's an
exceptionally well adapted dynamic and for me, the biggest takeaway from the
FIENDS
AT FEAST
side of the split. Oh yea, before I move on, guitar wizard on this, Azazel, is
also now playing guitar in a much different band, the mesmerizing
JEX THOTH!! The
second game in this double header is supplied by Wisconsin’s
TRAGIC DEATH.  
Having a similar pre-”PURGATORY RITES” recording history to
FIENDS AT
FEAST
, this is the follow up to the independently released “APOCALYPTIC
METAL” debut full length from 2012.  For all of the Metal-history nuts out there.
TRAGIC DEATH is the present incarnation of WITHERING YOUTH. As such,
existing from 2004 until 2009 and recording one demo in 2006. For me, as impressive as
Azazel’s performance on the first four tracks of this release, the entirety of
TRAGIC
DEATH
’s three lengthy tracks (ranging from just over six minutes to almost ten), is the
real treat.  Much slower paced and much heavier, the songs range from the serene to the
ominous to the crushing.  Epic, Heavy, Blackened  Death Metal. A name I use as
sparingly as possible, being fully aware of the respect-inducing implications, is
ORDER
FROM CHAOS
. The track “Withering Youth” reminds me a great deal of that legendary
act’s slower moments. At other times names that could easily be used as comparisons
are
BOLT THROWER and ASPHYX (see “Withering Youth“) and EMPEROR and
AT THE GATES in their slower moments (see closing track “The Dissolution Of The
Clay Children“). The track “Withering Youth” is simply enthralling, and something I
won’t soon forget. With all respect to
FIENDS AT FEAST, who certainly make a good
showing, it's fitting that this split CD ends with
TRAGIC DEATH. If this doesn't leave
one wanting to hear more of
TRAGIC DEATH, then one should definitely check their
priorities and possibly their hearing!!!

www.facebook.com/FIENDSATFEAST
www.facebook.com/218TRAGICDEATH

                                                                                           - Reviewed by Keith Dempe