Drudge To The Thicket

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Prey to Whom
02. Eloper's Revelations
03. Demigod Prototype
04. Song of Stillness
05. Disjunct
06. Headless
07. Borderland Vigil
08. Adrift the Sleepless Swamp
09. Drudge to the Thicket
10. Until the Heavens Grow Dark

Canada's Profound Lore has a knack for sniffing out extreme metal that's unique and exceptional. The label has struck gold once again, this time with the eccentric and jarring Berkeley, California-based death metal unit FABRICANT. The power trio is set to release "Drudge To Thicket", a ten-track onslaught of inventive death metal that merges the adventurousness of GORGUTS with the eerie darkness of bands like IMMOLATION and DRAWN AND QUARTERED. Setting aside those loose reference points, FABRICANT is pushing through the untamed wild in the best way possible.

The Californians were building their foundation as far back as 2010, releasing a couple of demos and a split with APOCRYPHON before falling silent in 2014. Their hiatus ended in 2019, and FABRICANT's focus on quality has paid off creatively big-time. "Drudge To The Thicket" is a masterful display of intricate death metal that's progressive in the truest sense. FABRICANT, featuring members of the tech death outfit MEFITIS, leverages its impressive musical abilities toward the creation of left-field song structures and movements that are memorable and seamless in spite of how busy and detailed everything is. Countless riffs, shifts and breaks define "Borderland Vigil" without feeling cluttered or frivolous.

The title track flows with frenetic, nimbly melodious guitar runs that are reminiscent of latter-day DEATH. The three-pronged attack of Troy (guitars, vocals),Ryan (bass) and Pendath (drums, synths) on "Drudge To The Thicket" would indeed make Chuck Shuldiner proud of his legacy. FABRICANT is ultimately worthy of attention because they emulate rather than imitate those who have influenced them.

The stop-starts and dramatic pivots throughout "Drudge To The Thicket" are playful and carefree in the way that's typical of an act first coming together in a garage. While most band's lose that youthful curiosity as a style or formula solidifies, FABRICANT somehow maintains it. Every member of FABRICANT is essential, but Ryan's jangly bass lines shine the brightest, especially on the bouncy, groove-laden number "Prey to Whom". Along with Pendath's punchy, jazzy percussion, Ryan anchors "Song of Stillness" allowing Troy's quirky, sometimes circus-like guitar work to fly free.

FABRICANT has seemingly come out of nowhere. Given the opportunity, they have what it takes to win over fans of bands as varied as CRYPTOPSY and DEFEATED SANITY. However, the ball may bounce in terms of public reception and support, "Drudge To The Thicket" arrives as one of the most interesting death metal releases of the year.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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