The current viral plague has made many people think the world is going to shit. But we know better: the human plague had already turned the world to shit long before the corona first reared its spiky head. We lived then, as we do now, in societies marked by a dearth of generosity, a dearth of honesty, a dearth of simple human decency, and instead infected by greed, deceit, cruelty, and hate. Who better to unleash the apocalypse that the ugliness of humanity deserves than a band named Dearth.
“A sonic reign of terror clawing deep into the most wretched, abominable, and hideous realms of human nature”. That’s part of the verbiage to be found in the advance press for Dearth‘s debut album, To Crown All Befoulment, and those aren’t hollow words. The record is indeed menacingly malignant, devastatingly ferocious, and deeply unsettling. It’s also frighteningly well-crafted and tremendously thrilling to hear. Paradoxically, from abyssal depths of disgust comes something that makes the wretchedness of life more bearable.
Sentient Ruin Laboratories, which will release the album on June 19th, has already previewed one stunning track from the album with the assistance of DECIBEL, and today we’re presenting another — “The Reverence of Swine“.
For those only first encountering Dearth, they began life in the Oakland area in 2016, with members drawn from the likes of Xenotaph, Torture Chamber, Dead Man, Swamp Witch, and Funeral Chant. We’re told that they “wanted to explore an abominable syncretism between the ugliness and surrealism of French black metal, the power and chaos of the darkest strains of death metal, and conceptual lyricism and symbolism dealing with transcendental misanthropy, metaphysical nihilism and total inhumanity.”
And to do that they assembled an arsenal of musical weaponry reminiscent of both dark death metal monsters like Dead Congregation, Lucifyre, and Pseudogod, and extreme black metal entities such as Deathspell Omega, Aosoth, and Antaeus. Such influences are on livid display in the song we’re bringing you now.
The band waste no time creating a sickening miasma at the outset of “The Reverence of Swine“, interspersing slow, crushing stomps with dismal buzzing chords. As the drumming pounds and tumbles, those ugly vibrations become even more queasy and foul. And then the song explodes in a maelstrom of lightning-fast drum assaults, waves of seething and scything riffage, abyssal roars, and cauterizing shrieks. The sound is pure poison and hate delivered with thermonuclear energy.
The band revert to their monstrous stomping cadence, the guitars groaning and dissonantly squealing, creating an atmosphere of brutish cruelty and gibbering lunacy. Those demented string excretions continue even after Deartth explode in a final surge of obliterating percussion and ravaging riff distortion, as if to finish the task of scourging humankind from the earth.
We’re also including a stream of the previously released track “Death Sown In Polluted Soil“, which premiered at DECIBEL, and which moved us to spew forth these words when we first heard it:
“It’s an ugly and unnerving but hugely adrenaline-triggering piece of work from these Oakland-based ravagers. It hurls the listener into a cyclone of distorted riffing, febrile guitar lunacy, maniacally battering drums, and a terrifying consortium of grotesque, cavernous roars and mad-demon shrieks. Dearth pick their moments to jab and jolt as well as to swarm and scourge, and the drummer booms, batters, and thunders as well as blasts like an automatic weapon. Before you listen you’d better gulp oxygen like a fish on land, because you’ll need it.”
To Crown All Befoulment was recorded and mixed at Earhammer in Oakland CA by Greg Wilkinson, and it was mastered by Justin Divver, who was also responsible for the graphic layout. The striking cover art was created by Ike Greca.
Sentient Ruin will release this monster of an album on vinyl, digital, and tape, and you can pre-order it via the links below.