Norway's FESTER have returned after 18 years of conspicuous absence from the scene; their third full-length, ‘A Celebration Of Death’, has been released just yesterday, March 20th, 2012. Guitarist Bjørn “Tiger” Mathisen and vocalist Thomas Andresen of the original FESTER, bassist Jon Bakker and session drummer Audun Kleive, a renowned jazz drummer, equipped ‘A Celebration Of Death’ with artwork created by Eliran Kantor and invited a special guest, Mortiis, to appear on the last track of the album (plainly titled ‘Rites Of Mortiis’). Listen to/and view two brand new tracks from the album below and buy ‘A Celebration Of Death’, along with the rest of FESTER's stuff here, through their label Abyss Records.
“Musicians, like regular folks, have longings for the good old days, as Tiger Mathisen must have when he revisited his by reviving FESTER and then releasing ‘A Celebration Of Death’. He should have the urge more often, as the quality of FESTER and ‘A Celebration Of Death’ is supreme, with a thick coat of 1993 slathered all over it. There’s even a cassette version!” [was excited Todd Lyons, About.com] … “Solos, like black umbrellas bent against the wind, appear in the funereal procession of dragging beats and elongated vocal phrasing, which for death metal is sung in an upper-castrati range. They work well, providing contrast to the usual buzz-saw grunting. … FESTER plies this quilting texture and tortured tonality throughout ‘A Celebration Of Death’. Each track builds from the previous one by elevating intensity and expanding solos and guitar beds. The riffs pound like chromatic sieges and never sound recycled from old KREATOR or AT THE GATES albums.” [Read more here]
Formed in 1989 in Askim, Norway by a “quartet of teenagers who wished to play hard, extreme music that would describe their dark inner selves” (as many a teenager often wishes), FESTER recorded their first mix of death, black and thrash metal in 1991 (‘The Introduction’ demo), followed a year later by another demo titled ‘Winter Of Sin’. FESTER released their proper debut album, also titled ‘Winter Of Sin’, in 1992 on No Fashion Records, and its successor, ‘Silence’, in 1994 on Lethal Records. The group disbanded shortly after. FESTER was to reunite in 2000, but the reunion was put on hold due to the death of founding member bassist Jørgen Skjolden. FESTER released a compilation of their demos in 2010 on Kyrck Production.