Saevus Finis have arrived with a nightmarish slab of discordant death metal that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

Release date: January 12, 2024 | Transcending Obscurity Records | Bandcamp | Facebook

Seldom does a Death Metal album come along that captures my imagination quite like Facilis Descensus Averno. By the time I’d sat with the ten tracks that comprise this record and was once again left in silence, it felt as though Saevus Finis had run off with a piece of my soul. What’s even more impressive is that Facilis Descensus Averno serves as the band’s debut. However, while its members’ identities and past projects are as shrouded in mystery as their appearances, I do not doubt that this is the work of experienced conjurers.

The album opener, “Scourge of Humanity”, heaves and undulates under its weight, as if it were some tentacled monstrosity spewed forth from another dimension. Cacophonous, harsh, and unrelentingly nasty, if we could resurrect Bernard Hermann and have him compose a metallic soundtrack to a cosmic horror film, the resulting nightmare would surely be reminiscent. This is the perfect track to introduce us to what’s sure to be a harrowing journey to come. The second track, “Aeons of Spiritual Starvation” is no less anxiety-inducing than its predecessor, but packs twice the leveling power, with its palm-muted marching and inhuman disharmony.

At the mid-point of the album, surfacing from the depths, in all its wretched splendor, is the enormous, doom-laden monolith that is “Overrun by Pests”. Murky, suffocating, and heavier than your complete collection of H.P. Lovecraft tales, this track is perhaps my personal favorite. Following that is another stand-out, “Corporeal Malfeasant”, with its unusual, alien sense of harmony and eerie, jazz-tinged chord progressions. The aptly titled “Facilis Descensus Averno” (which translates to ‘descent to hell’), caps the album off, true to gut-wrenching form. And, indeed, it does feel as though we’ve finally reached the last, hopeless level of Hell that Saevus Finis has been dragging us toward this entire time.

From a production standpoint, this record sounds exactly as it should. It’s sludgy, foggy, claustrophobic, and dripping with reverb and atmosphere, but with each instrument still well-defined in the mix. The only exception might be the drums which, while wonderfully produced, do at times seem to compete for sonic real estate. Speaking of which, the consistent double bass and blasting percussion from MCMXII contribute to the almost ritualistic hypnotism of Facilis Descensus Averno while providing some glue for all that dissonance. Vocalist, Mortvorvm, also delivers a dynamically evil sermon of dusty, cavernous gutturals to mid-ranged and higher shrieks, often layering them in combination to horrific effect. The lyrics here, as well, feel like incantations lifted from some maligned, blood-scribed grimoire, lending to the almost forbidden aesthetic of the album that reminds me why I fell in love with the genre in the first place. Facilis Descensus Averno is cosmic nightmare fuel, and it feels like one of those albums that you probably didn’t want your parents to find.

Saevus Finis has crafted a truly impressive and haunting experience with this first outing. Every layer of this monster lulls you deeper and deeper into the maelstrom they’ve created and demonstrates the seasoned songwriting ability and keen ear for dynamics that each musician possesses. Furthermore, Transcending Obscurity Records is a label that gets this kind of music and with their support, a band already releasing this kind of quality, I’m sure has a promising future ahead of them.

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