The Festival is a H. P. Lovecraft-themed release, completely built and fashioned around one of his stories of the same name.
This is heavily atmospheric doom metal and sees the band mixing elements of classic proto-black metal into their cauldron and stirring with all of their might. Think a kind of Celtic Frost/Venom/Cathedral approach to doom, and you’ll be on the right lines.
The vocals are just as individual and charismatic as the naming of the aforementioned bands might lead you to believe. They’re well-performed, but I imagine that they will be quite an acquired taste for some; I certainly have to be in the mood for their dramatic, almost theatrical delivery.
The band definitely have the ability to draw the listener in and immerse them in their Lovecraftian world, and the songs trudge along with relentless inevitability, taking the listener on a journey into the deep insides of the story that they have taken as their own.
For me, Swampcult are at their best when they’re at their slowest, creating morbid atmospheres with downbeat riffing and twisting leads.
An interesting and potentially divisive release – give this a listen and see what you think.