Départe - Failure, Subside (Season of Mist)

Some great post-extreme metal is emanating from Tassie.
Release Date: 
14 Oct 2016 (All day)

I’m always on the lookout for quality Australian bands. Not only for the (possibly misplaced) pride that you get from finding amazing talent in your own backyard, but for the right to be that obnoxious guy at the bar going “pfft, I knew them before they blew up”. You never know where the next Ne Obliviscaris or King Parrot will pop up after all. 

With that in mind, I was quite excited when I heard that Départe was releasing their debut album through Season of Mist. I had heard their demo and was quite impressed by it, but having an Aussie metal band signed to an underground label as prominent as SoM is no small feat, especially for not having an official release to their name. But when you first hear the advance tracks that premiered before the album came out, I think it’s pretty clear to see the label made a smart choice.

The press releases for Failure, Subside describe the album as an exploration of loss and grief and listening to it, it’s plain to see how that’s the case. The music here is equal parts thick and oppressive as well as solemn and beautiful. Just hearing the opening refrains of Ashes in Bloom is overwhelming. Départe’s overall style is probably best described as post-black metal, but there are ample helpings of death, doom and drone thrown in so they have just as much in common with bands like Ulcerate as they do with Altar of Plagues. Wither, for example shows off the band’s more post rock leanings. It’s heavy and emotive, building to a massive crescendo. Grief Echoes (Golden Scars) shows off the bands Ulcerate influences, particularly with the drumming patterns. The album highlight Ruin closes out proceedings and reaches a truly emotive peak with its combination of spoken word and forlorn doom melodies. The final riff in particular evokes a true sense of defeat as it slowly fades out.

You’d be really straining to find many downsides to Failure, Subside. There are no filler tracks and every song flows together well. This is one of the better post-black/death albums I’ve heard and easily one of the best things to come out of Australia this year. Avoid it at your peril.

Failure, Subside is out now.