This review was edited after publication according to additional detail provided by the band.
It doesn’t seem fair when the promotional material for a band pinpoints exactly the reference needed for a review, henceforth preventing the reviewer from looking smart by pointing out the similarity between the object of the review and another band. In the case of Chthe’ilist, a technical Death metal band from Quebec, it would be Demilich, the legendary Finnish Death metallers who recently made a come back on-stage.
Le dernier crépuscule (« the last dawn » in French) showcases everything that made Demilich so special, from the raspy vocals of Philippe Tougas who sounds remarkably close to those of Demilich‘s Antti Boman, the contorsions executed by the buitar and bass riffs, to the old school production and it’s drums devoid of any trigger effect. Chthe’ilist also adds other elements like some melodic vocals (Tales of the Majora Mythos Part 1) or some atmospheric keyboard (Into the vault of ingurgitating obscurity).
Overall, Chthe’ilist looks to create an atmosphere rather than push the boundaries of extreme brutality. Drummer Philippe Boucher, co-founder of Chthe’ilist, knows the other side of Technical Death metal very well since he also plays in Beyond Creation, a band founded five years before this one. Chthe’ilist could not be further apart from his main band. The recording does not try to artificially accentuate every instrument for the maximum impact, every element are not dissociated from each other in the mix to showcase the technical prowess of each player. Le dernier crépuscule does put some emphasis on some of it’s best musician but everything blends in a more coherent way, particularly on the skills of the two equally gifted bass player (the intro of The voices from beneath the well immediately stands out) who are featured on this album, Phil Tougas and Claude Leduc . The cover stands in opposition to Beyond Creation‘s latest album, Earthborn evolution, where a futuristic city stands.
Le dernier crépuscule stands as a perfect example of moody and melancholic Death Metal. Music created to depict an imaginary world of dread and horror. Each song embodies a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, crafted with the same attention as the best storytelling musician such as Paul Baayens (Asphyx), Lasse Pyykkö (Hooded Menace) or Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel). A fascinating album for the quality of its song and it’s musicianship.
After posting this review on their page, a member of Chthe’ilist left the following comment on Facebook about this review: « Our music isn’t technical death metal though. Phil Tougas played bass on the album with the exception of track 3 and half of 4 by Claude Leduc. Antoine joined later. Chthe’ilist was also founded and the album written much before Phil Boucher joined Beyond Creation so any comparison with the band is just off. »