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Fabricant – Drudge To The Thicket

fabricant – drudge to the thicket


After a demo in 2010 and a split CD with Apocryphon in 2013, things got awfully quiet around this American Death Metal band. Besides the 2010 demo, the band also released a digital single that year, which reappeared as the debut’s title track anno 2023. Apparently, Fabricant took over a decade to perfect their skills and before making it public. Something exceptional today, but perhaps a little less surprising given their musical content. After all, this trio does not exactly bring you a new album that will be mentioned in the same breath with the basic simplicity of a band like Master, Nunslaughter or Massacre. In fact, those primal bands and ‘Drudge To The Thicket’ are the furthest apart within the framework of the Death Metal genre.

While it is my guess as to why the band took so much time to finally come up with their debut album, it may not have been a crazy idea to release it exactly now. The musical constellation at the moment seems a lot more favourable than it was back in 2010. Sure, bands like Demilich, Demigod, Timeghoul, Atheist, Gorguts or Pestilence and a slew of other bands with technical or unorthodox leanings have always been popular, but the spirits now seem definitively more ripe for a more progressive or technical approach. In the past few months alone, albums by VoidCeremony, Tomb Mold and Stargazer have delivered some more than interesting records. But also in the years before that, the way was further paved by bands like Chthe’ilist, Artifical Brain, Blood Incantation or even Archspire.

Of course, Fabricant has nothing to do with Archspire’s modern and more American school-based Technical Death Metal, instead on ‘Drudge To The Thicket’ Fabricant manages to weave together an unparalleled amount of riffs, leads and rhythm changes into something that is possibly the closest thing to Demilich. The jazzy rhythms, almost spastic drum bursts and mean-sounding vocals make this debut album a wild rollercoaster ride. Although the unorthodox jazzy-like structures make up the lion’s share, they don’t shy away from funky passages either (just listen to ‘Song Of Stillness’, for instance). Then again, on a track like ‘Headless’, a nice counterpoint is provided and the band creeps up against a band like Immolation and Fabricant shows that their palette of musical influences and interests is remarkably multicoloured.

Unsurprisingly, the restless and motley result does make this far from an easy listening experience. The danger in this kind of music usually lies in the fact that it not infrequently leads to a shapeless and disjointed collection of riffs and musical ideas. Let’s call this the classic shred/guitar hero syndrome: lots of displays of ability and skills, but an (over)obvious lack of songwriting skills. Fabricant does manage to parry that danger for most of the time, but occasionally there is a little too loose musicianship that causes the common thread to be lost. Although one can definitely speak of a more than impressive first full-length album, keep in mind that we are still dealing with debut album here (!), I am extremely curious to hear a sequel in which the band ties up those last loose ends as well.


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