Fustilarian – All This Promiscuous Decadence Review

While many a reviewer despises grabbing black metal promos stuck in the ’90s, I love it. For nothing else, it gives me an itch for my favorites. Sometimes I won’t even finish the new promo before I abandon it for the road down memory lane. I always start with Darkthrone—sometimes Transylvanian Hunger, other times it’s Hate Them. Then it’s Mayhem’s De Mysterii Dom Sathanas and Wolf’s Lair Abyss. From there, it’s Gorgoroth, Immortal, Funeral Mist, and Horna. Before I know it, the review is past due and the album is already on the shelves. But, unlike most of the trad black metal promos that come across my desk, Fustilarian’s All This Promiscuous Decadence is not the reason I listen to my oldies. It’s quite the opposite, actually. All This Promiscuous Decadence gave me such a craving for the good stuff, it ended up in the rotation. If you want orchestras and bombastic atmospheres, steer clear of this vast wasteland.

There’s one obvious point and two interesting ones about Fustilarian. The obvious one is, like every other black metal band these days, Fustilarian is a one-man outfit. Though I do have to say this bird’s got chops—vocals, guitars, and drums alike. What’s interesting is All This Promiscuous Decadence is the debut record and the band (man) hail from fucking Portugal. That’s like playing Swedeath in Alberta.1 But while a Canadian Grave would be hilarious, Fustilarian is all hate. The man’s gurgles and growls are some of the nastiest I’ve heard since the good old days of Dead, Pest, and Nocturno Culto. And, while the drum work on All This Promiscuous Decadence is mostly standard for the style, there’re moments of mountain-splitting destruction. Not to mention this record has riffs o’ plenty.

The general theme of the album is to pull you into the dark and never let go. Spooky keyboard atmospheres haunt the album opener, closer, and every quiet moment of the album. The immediate comparison that came to mind was The Deathtrip’s Deep Drone Master. And the mid-album instrumental, “Interlúdio (A Alienação dos Inquietos),” takes it to the max. The torturous screams rise from a dungeon underground in a way that reminds me of Horna’s untouchable Ääniä yössä. Once you get started, you can’t help but finish it.

Those albums, though, have an old-school, low-fi sound. All This Promiscuous Decadence doesn’t. It hits you just as hard as any of the more recent Gorgoroth outings. Fustilarian even shares some musical similarities to their Norwegian brethren. Specifically on songs like “Irreversible Cessation” and the horribly-titled “Swallowed by the Nether Regions of Chaotic Isolation.” The former for those delicious full-breasted yells that only Aldrahn and Gaahl can achieve. The latter because the main riff sounds like Gorgoroth to a tee. The only variation coming at the end when the drums stomp the fucking life out of you.

Other influences you can hear throughout are those black ‘n’ roll Nattefrost/Carpathian Forest moments and the spot-on vocal variations of Shining’s Niklas Kvarforth. The Strange Old Brew black ‘n’ roll is strong in the fist-pumping transitions of the back-to-back “Reversed Ascension” and “Born in Neglect Embrace.” And the Nattefrosty vocals and unsettling vibes paint “Carving Crystal Adornments Upon the Flesh” in piss and shit. As for the Kvarforth influences, don’t let me mislead you. The Shining similarities stop there. You won’t find any of the suicidal depression of V – Halmstad here. Look out for those vocal variations near the end of “Swallowed by the Nether Regions of Chaotic Isolation” and the beginning of closer “The Vacant Dispirit.” Personally, I love the variation, even though I’m more than satisfied with the vicious black metal shrieks. 

I can’t say that when I dive back into my black metal oldies in the future that All This Promiscuous Decadence will always be in the rotation. But, this is one of the better traditional black metal albums this year. To be honest, it’s right up there with Bizarrekult’s Vi Overlevde. Though its forty-three minutes can be long at times—specifically with the seven-minute numbers—it flies by faster than it appears. I also know some people aren’t big fans of that black ‘n’ roll sound. But it makes more of a cameo on these tracks—something to break up the monotony of tremolo picking and standard drum patterns. For me, the vocals keep me coming back more than the riffs. Let’s just say, I hope there’s more to come from Fustilarian. Because I’ll be waiting.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: Amor Fati Productions
Websites: fustilarian.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/fustilarian
Releases Worldwide: September 15th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. OK, I know that’s extreme. There is some good Portuguese black metal.
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