Le Dernier Crépuscule Cover

In fulfillment of his apparent residency at Profound Lore records, underground metal sweetheart Paolo Girardi has lent his considerable skill to the debut record from Chthe’ilist, a death metal act as instantly recognizable as Girardi‘s paintings. Hailing from Canada and led by multi-instrumental shredder Phillipe Tougas – whose work on last year’s Serocs album was Fisting approved – the band’s approach to death metal looks to the past, but skips over Sweden and Entombed, headed straight for Finland and the beloved strangeness of Demilich. Like Artificial BrainChthe’ilist don’t just borrow from bizarre ’90s death, but incorporate it seamlessly into their sound, a complex, cobweb-cloaked and Lovecraft-worshiping blend of tech-death and doom that defies both genres.

The antithesis of digestibility, early tracks “Into the Vaults of Ingurgitating Obscurity” and “Voidspawn” clock in at seven minutes and flaunt the band’s avant-garde influence, but despite long songs and complex writing, Le Dernier Crépuscule manages to make a huge impact not based on its atmosphere but on classic metal credentials; sick riffs and incredible shredded solos. Though the band’s Demilich-isms are by far the most memorable parts of this album, the doom-laden, less overtly strange riffs in the bridge of “Scriptures of the Typhlodians” are no less effective at sending your head straight off your neck. “Voices From Beneath the Well” is outclassed in riffs by the surrounding material, but its flashy bass playing makes for a compelling listen nonetheless, guiding the guitars through a swampy six minutes of odd-timed groove.

Low points are few and far between for this album, but issues aren’t absent – just well-cloaked. Closer “Tales of the Majora Mythos Part 1” eats up twice the time of any other track and serves as a microcosm of Le Dernier Crépuscule as a whole; the solo at around 7 minutes in is among the album’s best, but the preceding clean-sung chants aren’t one of the bands’ strengths; they’re by no means poorly performed or out of place, but when they take center stage, the rest of the band seems to coast beneath them, and they rarely feel like an integral part of the song. Shaving a few of the more repetitive minutes from “Tales” would certainly strengthen the album’s outro.

Chthe'ilist Unicorn-shame

In terms of production, I have nothing but praise for Le Dernier Crépuscule‘s cavernous, baking soundscape; each instrument cast in the dim between swaths of alchemical smog, it’s both suffocating and open due to a very trve use of reverb. Solos never fail to pierce through the mix, and the complex cymbal work and lively bass are never sidelined in favor of either riffs or atmosphere. The single downside of this excellent production manifests itself most obviously in “Tales of the Majora Mythos Part 1,” where backing synths – which sound better than the synths on most metal albums – ever so slightly miss the high mark set by the band.

Our own Diabolus in Muzaka described Chthe’ilist as “trying to be Demilich and Disma at the same time,” and in that respect, Le Dernier Crépuscule is an unqualified success. And though there are nits to pick and problems to find with this album, it’s hard to think of it as anything other than successful. Though I would have preferred for the energetic and Demilich-loving riffage of “Voidspawn” and “Into the Vaults” to play a bigger role in the album’s second half, one can’t deny excellence in writing, creativity, and showmanship when it’s this obvious. In terms of technical excellence and individuality, as well as the choice of aesthetics, Le Dernier Crépuscule can be most favorably compared to Artificial Brain‘s debut Labyrinth Constellation, and if it grows on me as much as that album did, there’s a good chance you’ll hear more about this album in December.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR:
 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Profound Lore Records
Webistes:
facebook.com/chtheilist 
Releases Worldwide:
 January 29th, 2016

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  • Diego Molero

    That unicorn… Nice one Kronos

    • Oh my, I missed that (too busy reading….got to stop doing that).

      • Diego Molero

        I had to look twice to realice it was there, but then I stared at the photo for like 5 minutes

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Surely that’s a statue? Otherwise, great photoshop!

      • Diego Molero

        Great photoshop for sure

    • Kronos

      Thank you.

  • Just heard the new single on the forum. Sounds awesome.

  • El_Cuervo

    I’ll have to spend a bit more time with it. Hasn’t struck me after maybe 3 listens and the production aggravates me somewhat. But I’ll give it time.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      How much did you like Nespithe? That seems to be a major deciding factor for this one.

  • toefisch

    I’m really enjoying what I’ve heard so far from this album and I can’t wait to listen to it all! Great review!

  • Now THAT’s a unicorning!

    • Monsterth Goatom

      And classy!

      • Hulksteraus

        Yep, no fluorescent my first barbie/carebear unicorn there, that be one grown up, tasteful shadow unicorn.

    • Blueberry Balls

      Enguard!

  • Iliast

    Bravo, good review. Inspiration is more Hyrule than Kadath, however.

  • You wot m8?

    Not out until the 29th? These are gonna be a long couple o’ days.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Tell me about it! I’m waiting eagerly for Avantasia, Exumer, and Fuath to drop in the next few days.

  • Zac Melvin-McNutt

    I got my pre-order for this album on the 13th, been jamming it non stop since then. Easily album of the month!

    • Kronos

      Crematory is a definite influence here, you’re right. I’m just not as familiar with them.

      • Tom Hardy

        Check out Denial, it’s a compilation.

  • Hammersmith

    Heard a track off this on their bandcamp. It was solid enough to go ahead and pre-order it.

  • After reading this review, all I want to do is listen to this album and see what it’s about! Will be checking it out for sure…loving the riffs on the one song there.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I just know Im going to love this!
    Front runner for Unicorn of the year

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    Nobody could reasonably carry on total high-quality Demilich worship for an entire record I’d wager, as they were truly lightning in a bottle. Sometimes I wonder if they even knew exactly what they were doing on Nespithe…

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    What is bizarre ’90s deatheth?

    • Kronos

      I haven’t the faintest what you could possibly be referring to…

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        You wrote it… maybe it´s a typo? It´s after the Artificial Brain comparison.

        • Kronos

          Check again (F5).

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I was fun watching it disappear.

    • SegaGenitals

      Ved Buens Ende. The afformentioned Demilich. Gorguts, post Obscura. I’d include Atheist, way ahead of their time.

    • Name’s Dalton

      This music is the deathest.

      Seriously, this embedded song slays.

  • Elton Chagas

    Never saw an unicorn playing death metal that good…

  • Pacal

    Any wisdom on band name or album title pronunciation?

    • [not a Dr]

      Lay dair-nee-ay cray-puscule (The Last Dusk, or The Last Twilight)

      I have no idea about Chthe’ilist… I guess it would require non-euclidian pronounciation by at least hybrid-spawn grade vocal cord substitutes.

      • Iliast

        Like the Majora track, it’s another Legend of Zelda reference – from The Twilight Princess (Final Twilight is one of the chapters.)

    • SegaGenitals

      Anagram. ‘The chiillest.”

      • [not a Dr]

        It’s the lich
        And the apostrophe is accounted for.

        • SegaGenitals

          Nice… How about… “He’s hit clit.”

          • [not a Dr]

            You are the clit commander. You make that shit work.

    • Zac Melvin-McNutt

      According to the band’s facebook page, the name is pronounced “K Tee List” or “K Thee List”, both are acceptable

  • WhamBamSam

    Ooooh. This is pretty nifty. Between that and the review I’m giving Demilich another shot as well. The croak-burp vocals annoyed me in the past but at first blush it seems like I’ll be able to move past that now that I’m older and trver.

  • SegaGenitals

    Most exciting thing I’ve heard all year. Track on bandcamp was swell. I like the production.

  • William Hebblewhite

    That is one hell of an album cover…

  • polygraphovich

    just popped this on.. opening track sounds quite promising, as are most albums that manage to get a higher than 3 rating here hah

  • Don’t know about you guys, but I can easily imagine the artwork of Gateway to the Antishpere for this album. I’m not saying they’re ripping off Sulphur Aeon or anything. The overall vibe is pretty close though. Filthy, dark, twisted, dissonant, epic..

    • Reese Burns

      I totally get what you mean. But hey, considering all the artwork out there, there’s bound to be stuff that looks similar.

  • SegaGenitals

    Good stuff. I do want new Disma.

  • Requiem

    Damn, that embedded track is immense! Love it!