I’m going to attempt to compile my thoughts on this record assuming that if you’re even looking at this album you have a general idea of what it is. The first thing I’m going to tell you is that you actually have NO idea at all what this is, and you won’t until you listen to it top to bottom.
This is music geared towards ritual. It is not at all intended to appeal to a mass amount of people, even within the “metal community.” This was initially released as a promo a few years ago but has been recently remastered and pressed on vinyl. I had heard the “Dajjal” promo sometime back in 2008 I believe and remember being completely and utterly possessed by the sheer amount of darkness that emanated from it. After that I had heard nothing. It needs to be said again that this music is different. It may be labeled as “Black Metal” or whatever else you wish to call it. In reality it is simply an aural by product of some incredibly sinister rituals. This kind of art doesn’t just happen. It takes an individual deeply rooted within the occult to be able to conduct a horrifying symphony (by himself nonetheless) on the level that Famine has. The guitars cut like razors and the vocals are desolate enough to drive you mad. From “Adventus” all the way to “Curse” the album is easily the most abhorrent material I’ve heard.
Famine has appropriately placed ambient sections throughout the album as well. “Amaru” and “Curse” are probably two of the best ambient tracks I’ve heard. It’s clearly apparent that Famine has directed his focus to the artistic aspect of the occult. He isn’t attempting to fit into some preconceived mold made by some of the earlier bands that came before. In fact, I might even venture to say that Famine is doing something that hasn’t really been done since Abruptum in the ’90s. Famine is just plain evil. It is a representation of the darkest corners of the occult manifested through your speakers. You are being offered a gateway into the occult through this album. If you stop and absorb the material the way it’s meant to be, it will most certainly enlighten you to a very different kind of art. Famine reeks of darkness and death. This is some of the filthiest music to ever be released. I can’t recommend this enough to those who live on the fringes of everything that modern society is built upon.
Also note that Famine does the artwork as well. His art adorns teh cover of the new Incantation record ‘Vanquish in Vengeance’ as well as Bestia Arcana’s ‘To Anabainon Ek Tes Abyssu’ to name a few.
This really took me by surprise and by the throat as well.
I mean there are many facets to Famine, and all of them take you to places overflowing with evil, hatred, melancholy and fill your head with strange visuals that will rattle you. You drop the needle and find yourself enveloped in darkness and cold loathing from a rapid fog of harsh, fast black metal, backed with some of the most insidious whispering bm vocals that I have ever heard, they enter your brain and swim around like a water moccasin injecting venom at will. Then second track, for example “Amaru”, is just as bizarre as the first yet equally dark in a much different way. It almost reminds me to those extremely creepy soundtracks from Italian horror films from the 70s and early 80s. The ones where you feel uneasy, a little disoriented and you are kept guessing as to what terror will crawl across your screen next. I like that Famine seems to achieve all of this in the non-typical manner of just drenching everything in synth. No they do it in all manner of ways, and take the hard way to produce these sounds, such as with the track “Liber Porta Lvcis”, it is tremendously atmospheric and disturbing and is produced on piano and violin. That what I call imagination and talent employed to produce true art. I have chills from that song and it is followed up “Curse”, a hymn filled with almost nothing but black voices, gasps, growls, hissing, vomit-like emanations, ghost-like screams of anguish – this album is a journey I assure you. I am mentally exhausted. A brilliant release that takes many elements you have heard, many you have not and combines them in a unique way that makes this record an absolute must own. On a side note this is the first time I have seen a card included with a vinyl, where you can go download a high quality mp3 version of the album. Also I have forgotten to mention the packaging is about as fine as you can get, superb layout, poster included, all made from quality material with a four panel fold-out cover and sturdy 180-200 gram vinyl. I can not recommend this enough. – Dale
This one arrives from way beyond, from totally off the radar, leaving me transfixed. Quite simply, ‘Famine’ has to be one of the best Black Metal records unleashed in 2011, scoring maximum marks in every conceivable compartment. First of all, the lay-out and artwork are fantastic: an immense 200 gram vinyl wrapped in a stunning gatefold cover, complete with lyrics on the inner sleeve. Looks the part…
And sounds the part, too! Famine – the vehicle of an entity emerging out of New Jersey operating under the uber-modest moniker of Worthless – specialises in a spectacular strain of raw, grim, cold and callous Black Metal. The vocals are corrosive, desperate shrieks not for the weak of heart; the music fast and fierce, ripping through you, carrying enough venom to rip your face off from one hundred yards.
I’m at a loss to name any obvious reference points but somehow Famine reminds me of Funeral Mist, only more raw, less polished. That’s not to say this album is under-produced, because it certainly isn’t. The production is perfect and on a track like ‘EnterTheTemple’ (the third of eight in total), which is slightly more bass-heavy and accessible than its two predecessors, the instruments breathe through organically, majestically. Masterful stuff.
The real clincher on ‘Famine’ is the three ambient / instrumental interludes (for want of a better word) which comprise Tracks # 4, 7 and 8 – ‘Amaru’, ‘LiberPortaLvcis’ and ‘Curse’. The inclusion of these lends an occult, otherworldly, ethereal, esoteric bent to proceedings, rendering an already stupendous album utterly mandatory. In summing up, this is a rare and unique Black Metal record that deserves its place in any discerning collection.
This beautiful and cryptic LP represents the repressing of the 2007 album from American black metal isolationists, Famine. This one man project is nebulous and hostile. Each song is coated with noisy obfuscation which blurs the overall notes with intentional obscurity. The album opener, Adventus, brings to mind the cruel middle ground between Destroyer era Gorgoroth and the blasphemous intensity of early Beherit. The whispered and ghastly vocals summon comparisons to Holocausto’s early style. The subtle use of violin further imbues the song with unsettling qualities. Blasting drums and frenzied guitars open Praise the Witch and the song continues to disorient through its careful utilization of shadowed noise. Up next is the short but doomy Enter The Temple. The plodding pacing and lethargic riffs drag like a slow motion cat ‘o nine tales across tender flesh. The guitar lead wails like a mournful banshee as the song draws to it close. The circular, intense riffs that usher in Oathless Sovereign are dizzying and the use of violin further serves to unbalance the listener. There are several instrumental pieces on the album but the once that proves to be the most demented with its dramatic violin and maniacal strings is Liber Porta Lvcis. A truly chilling piece of music that conjures images of tortured ballerinas frolicking while demonic whales shift in the outer darkness. Famine creates an album that causes the listener to become unhinged through its use of fuzzy, merciless riffing and abyssic clouds of white noise which create an aura of unsettling fear. This is a piece of true American black metal obscurity. An album which is permeated by darkness and evil atmosphere.
The first thing that strikes your attention is the exceptional quality of this LP, a heavy as hell piece of vinyl containing as bonus a poster and a link + password to download the whole material online if you’d like, but I wouldn’t recommend that since Famine’s music is much, much more frightening on disc than on PC. Anyway, this is Famine’s debut album re-released, as it was originally released in 2007, but now it has some more tracks and it’s remastered. What we get here talking about the music is 8 tracks of intense, horrifying, chaotic Black Metal, one of the most horrendous I’ve heard in a long time, filled with multiple layers of technical guitar riffs and leads, vicious vocals, and an overall atmosphere that’s simply frightening. The occasional piano + keys + violin insertions are absolutely delicious and add a lot on to the heavy, sinister atmosphere this release has. I’m really impressed. Great release, but if you’re looking for melodic, easy Black Metal look somewhere else.Reviewed by AdrianRating: 10/10