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Review : Chthe'ilist - Le Dernier Crépuscule by Health Metal

Via Health Metal : "This album caught my attention for 2 reasons: It’s a Profound Lore release and it has Paolo Girardi artwork.

For this who don’t know the latter, Paolo is becoming one of the most renowned album artists of this generation. Certainly in metals underground anyway. Designing murky masterpieces for the like of Lycus, Bell Witch, Black Breath, Artificial Brain… the list goes on. His work is instantly recognisable and for me his art has the same effect John Dyer Baizley’s or Paul Romano’s does in that if I know they did the artwork, it’s gonna be an album worth checking out.

The aesthetic of this album is a bleak one. It’s cover portrays a bleak post apocalyptic landscape (Le Dernier Crépuscule translates to “The Last Twilight”). A picture that is so perfectly replicated through the Canadian trio’s sonic sludge of inescapable muddy pits and unsettling haunting atmospheres. These are indeed the darkest realms of death metal.

The vocals of Phil Tougas gargle and splutter through walls of riffs that sound like they were dug up from a swamp of death metal backed by pummelling yet ghostly drums.

One of the albums strongest points is its production. Whilst it’s not the first time in recent years a death metal band have tried to replicate the 80’s death and thrash sound, it has been captured here very well with a distinct modern edge. For people like me who like their death metal to sound dirty and muddy, this is pure delight. Some of the riffs are hard to make out, but that isn’t the point. The atmosphere comes first. Brutality second.

Delving into the lyrics is a truly interesting journey. In an interview with Examiner, Phil explained how all the bands lyrics are “short bone-chilling, bizarre horror stories”. Reading the lyrics out of context is exactly like reading a short story rather than song lyrics.

On top of that, the stories are full of made up words from the mythical universe created by the band, with creatures like the eyeless “Typhlodians” and the mythical realm of “Eil’udom”. This album is as much a collection of short horror stories as it is a death metal record.

Although I feel there is more to this release than the technical abilities of Chthe’ilist as a band, it can’t be ignored. Their riffs are thought out and methodically constructed with the subtle inclusion of melodies. The guitar solos are memorable and distinct, particularly on “Scriptures Of The Typhlodians” and there’s even the occasional bit of slap bass, like the start of “The Voices From Beneath The Well”.

I’m sometimes put off by self-indulgent and over the top tech. But the technicality is only a surface layer to be dug through here. It’s in no way indulgent or too much. It just keeps the music interesting enough to keep listening.

Le Deriner Crépuscule isn’t an instant album. It requires commitment, attention and genuine interest. If you throw it on in the background, it’s unlikely to make an impact. But sit down and listen to the tales it has to tell and you will reap the rewards." 8/10

Originally written by Joe Proudlove for

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