OF FEATHER AND BONE has come a long way. In its early days, the Colorado band was running along the path of hardcore punk and grindcore. And it did it well. The group has since transformed into a death metal band that some may describe as falling under the umbrella of “old-school death metal,” which is essentially timeless death metal. It unquestionably references the scripts of classic bands like AUTOPSY and BOLT THROWER. For those who enjoy this burgeoning, revisited, style or the classic bands that established the template to begin with, OF FEATHER AND BONE offers a substantial amount of death metal meat to gnaw upon and devour with pleasure.
“Bestial Hymns Of Perversion”, The band’s second full-length, is a collection of songs that sound as though they’re dripping and oozing out of the players’ instruments and through your speakers. The stringed instrument production is decidedly muddy, allowing it to adequately contrast the clarity of the drums and duel vocals of bassist Alvino Salcedo and guitarist Dave Grant, it’s also excessively murky, rendering it difficult to properly discern the guitar playing, the riffs, as well as the nuances. The music itself is succinct. The band does not beat around the bush—at all. Even the feedback swelling, vocal effects-rich introduction of album opener “Repulsive Obscurity” is direct and brief enough to lead into the explosive blast-beat attack in a way that maintains constant interest.
OF FEATHER AND BONE is at its best when all cylinders are firing, but the group is more than a simple blast attack. Like an athlete, OF FEATHER AND BONE is on its toes and ready for tempo shifts, which provide depth and an opportunity for listeners to differentiate and digest the different sections of its songs. With adept movement, the band makes use of the time changes and dynamics, knowing exactly when to rev the engine up. With the second track, “Resounding From The Depths”, the music flies out of the gates with blast-beat-driven ferocity before drummer Preston Weippert tastefully pulls back the reins to allow the horse to march at a menacing pace behind a chunky riff. And that’s before the band begins lurching faster into a skank beat that itself eventually makes way for another assault of blast beats.
Certain moments are more salient than others, like “Mockery Of The Ascension”‘s grandiose, almost majestic closing riff, or the savage percussive pummeling at the onset of “Pious Abnormality”, which leads into a journey that seesaws between crushing death doom and outright belligerent death metal. Yet there is a sense of sameness that runs throughout and the ideas may be difficult for some to uncover due to the unclear production. However, the group keeps things interesting enough with the right tempo transitions as well as its head-first approach to creating death metal madness. It isn’t the most memorable release, yet it is compelling enough to revisit and much more interesting than what you’ll hear from the likes of GATEKEEPER or MAMMOTH GRINDER.