Album Review: CHTHE'ILIST Le Dernier Crépuscule
Chthe'ilist crawls out of a putrescent abyss of death metal on their debut full-length album, Le Dernier Crépuscule. The Québécois trio has a demo to their name and an open conduit of classic Northern European death metal flowing through them. Too often, bands are tagged as "worship" bands when there are more than a few parallels drawn between two entities. After the underground appeal of Chthe'ilist's demo, Amechth'ntaas'm'rriachth, the group was seen as Demilich worship. However, pigeonholing the band into such a small scope is doing them and Le Dernier Crépuscule a disservice. The Demilich influence is certainly present in their music, but there is also a lot more the group channels. One of their biggest influences are the early works of Sweden's Crematory. There are also influences from Finland's Abhorrence, Rippikoulu, and many others. Phil Tougas (vocals/guitars/synths) and Philippe Boucher (drums) also have experience in a number of other bands that have played technical death metal and black metal. Together with Claude Leduc (guitars/synths), Chthe'ilist has crafted a promising full-length debut that oozes ancestral death metal.
Le Dernier Crépuscule features songs from their prior demo that have been retooled for the new album and are now accompanied by new tracks. "Into the Vaults of Ingurgitating Obscurity", "Scriptures of the Typhlodians", and "Ve'coiitn'aphnat'smaalà" all breathe new life after appearing on Amechth'ntaas'm'rriachth. These three tracks, along with the four new tracks create a haunting environment for the listener to stir up their imagination. Tougas's lyrics and originality draw similarities to H.P. Lovecraft's storytelling, as each song intertwines with the next, creating parallel universes of sorts. From the sinister, self-titled, instrumental track to the eyeless ghouls that haunt the Eil'udom dimension of "Scriptures of the Typhlodians", Le Dernier Crépuscule immerses the mind in murky, bone-chilling imagery and narration.
Musically, Chthe'ilist's debut full-length is technically sound. Much of the album features rolling riffs from all guitars, head-spinning blast beats and drum patterns and Tougas's barbarous bellow that reminisce about the days of old. However, within each track, there are unique moments that make Le Dernier Crépuscule its own creature. "Into the Vaults of Ingurgitating Obscurity" features hymnic-like vocals in the middle of the song and closes on an ominous soundscape that sounds like a dripping, cavernous tomb or labyrinth filled with laughing phantoms. The album's fifth song, "The Voices From Beneath the Well" opens on the sounds of water running over the stone walls of a well before dropping into a meaty, visceral bass riff.
The album's final track, "Tale of the Majora Mythos Part 1" clocks in at almost thirteen and a half minutes, the huge finale has an almost operatic feel to it and is much more melodic and modern death metal. It includes sections of clean vocals mixed with the harsh growls heard throughout the album. Fun fact about this album: if you know your classic video games, then you will recognize that the final song is associated with The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. "The Voices From Beyond the Well" is also loosely based on Ocarina of Time. The Tougas-dubbed "Majoran Death Metal" adds the right amount of science fiction and fantasy to the horror Le Dernier Crépuscule invokes.
Chthe'ilist's wildly imaginative debut album is well worth the time to either sit down and take in as a story or to blare through speakers and scare the neighbors. The Canadian duo, turned trio, have expanded on their demo and ripped off the tag of "worship band". Instead, they funnel Finnish and Swedish death metal from the late eighties and early nineties into their terrifying concoction of Lovecraft-styled narratives, Hyrulian fan fiction, and haunting aura. Le Dernier Crépuscule introduces Chthe'ilist to the masses of metal fans looking for an inspiring new take on a classic death metal sound.