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Festerday - The Four Stages of Decomposition [Svart Records - 2015]

Unfortunately relegated to the shadows of the Swedish and Norwegian scenes, the Finnish death metal scene had some champions in their own right. While bands like Abhorrence, Xysma, and Mordicus rose to prominence, scene players like Festerday struggled to get their output recorded and released to the masses. With demos gaining attention of well known labels like Peaceville, Wild Rags, and Drowned, it seemed like Festerday's time was sure to come. But, to quote Vordul Mega, "Life's ill." Festerday faded away, but fortunately, they were not forgotten. 25 years later, the newly reformed band started to rehearse their old material. Svart records showed interest, and we're now presented with a double CD of all Festerday's studio output, live and rehearsal tracks, as well as new renditions of nine old songs.

Despite 25 years away from their material, Festerday's latest starts off with newly recorded renditions of nine of their old tracks. Composing the first disc of this release, these new recordings show that classic sounds die hard. Well played and well recorded, disc one hearkens back to the heyday of Finnish death. With a sound very similar to the Swedish scene, the cranked up fuzz on the guitars should make every old metalhead warm and fuzzy (ha!). Festerday got their name from a Carcass song, and the influence is clearly seen. "I Breathe Death" is Carcass worship in the vein of General Surgery. Not content with mere mimicry, Festerday opens up their approach with more chugging death and thick, soupy breakdowns. While fresh on the ears, these tunes are classic in tone, and represent a fond time in the youth of many a death metaller. The second disc on the set consists of all three Festerday demos, live tracks, and some unreleased rarities. Naturally, the sound quality of these old tapes varies, but the music hasn't changed. We are treated to the early recordings of a very young band bursting with talent. With their talent on display, it's easy to see why many labels were interested in signing them, but difficult to see why this never came to fruition. Not all the tracks are sonic marvels (there's only so much one can do with a 25 year old, poorly recorded tape), but having them on display for all to enjoy is a nice way to assist in the archiving of the Finninsh death scene.
 
Music is so widely available now, and with newer, interesting labels gaining steam and traction, they're able to take chances and put out deluxe editions of lesser known releases. Svart's release of Festerday's catalog compiles a lot of material from a little heard band, and metalheads would be well advised to check it out. With labels like Svart putting this much effort into uncovering older, less heard genre acts, we're living in a very great time to be music fans.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Paul Casey
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