In the recent revival of “old-school death metal”, many bands are trying to bring back the sound of European death metal forefathers such as Entombed or Dismember; however old-school death metal doesn’t just refer to the Swedish and Norwegian guys. There were some brutal motherfuckers over in Florida around the same time playing in groups like Cannibal Corpse, Death, Deicide and Obituary. The difference was pretty clear; the Americans focused more on punishing blast beats, deep gutturals, technical and chaotic riffs, and just had more of a rip-your-head-off vibe rather than the obscure sound of the Europeans.
Let me introduce you to a band named Lectern, who pay homage to these old-school Florida death-metallers to the fullest extent. Hailing from Italy, Lectern has actually been around since 1999, however due to numerous line-up changes, members coming and leaving constantly, and a hiatus that went on for almost a decade (there was like four different Fabio’s throughout the bands career…just a fun fact), it took a while for Lectern to get organized. After some EPs in 1999, 2010, and 2014, Lectern had a complete line-up featuring Fabio Bava on vocals and bass, Pietro Sabato and the recent Gabriele Cruzon guitars, and Marco Valentine on drums.
Fabio Bava was initially the creator of Lectern and also the only founding left in the band, and has already had experience in bands like Corpsefucking Art, Perfidy Biblical, and Demonian. It’s clear that this is his was his most ambitious project to date, since he never gave up on taking the band to new heights.
The first Lectern album was called Fratricidal Concelebration and came out in 2014. It was…an interesting take on the genre. A lot of the record had very odd time signatures and tempo changes, and felt very chaotic. Not in a dizzying, brutal assault way that you would hear from Origin or Fleshgod Apocalypse, but more like Death on speed. Still, it maintained a solid groove, had good riffs, and was enjoyable from start to finish. It was anything but boring, let me tell you that.
Two years later, we got Precept of Delator, the sophomore album released on Via Nocturna Records. Lectern’s second musical incantation was a huge step-up from the first; sounding a lot more focused, riff driven, and less like a weird technical death metal album. This record is for the hardcore fans of Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, and Death, among the rest. Bombastic blast beats, brutal lows and shrieking highs, and just a very in-your-face vibe are some of the things Lectern relied on to create this record.
It’s hard to really review the tracks individually since this album is more of old-school death metal marathon; each track sounds the same and just kind of blends in together. Luckily, Lectern’s musical writing skills are good enough so that the album doesn’t get repetitive and boring, however for the future I’d love to see more progressive diversity and variety in their songs. The production is solid; very tight and to the point. The playing overall is also very good; the riffs and drums sound pretty badass on songs like Diptych of Perked Oblation and Discorporation with Feral.
Precpet of Delotor really shines with Fabio’s vocals performance, and I’d say it’s the strongest thing about this album. Fabio’s lows are menacing as fuck and oftentimes sound like George Fisher himself, like on Garn for Debitors. Other times on tracks like Distil Shambles and Precept of Delator, Fabio sounds a lot like Glen Benton on the earlier Deicide records, such as the s/t or Legion; it’s that signature evil and demonic growl that made conservative Christians shit their pants. Fabio pulls this off really well.
Now this album does have its flaws. As I mentioned before, it really is the same thing throughout the entire album. The only song I found to be a little different was the fourth song, Distil Shambles. It’s main riff was a little more technical, and the song structure wasn’t as traditional as the rest. But overall, if you like a lot of variety in your music, this is probably not the record for you. I personally don’t mind repetition if it’s done well (and in my opinion, in this case it was), however I could see how this album can be boring for some people, and make your brain go numb.
However, the biggest flaw that this album has, and that Lectern has in general, is the way they rape the English language. I’m not claiming to be a grammatical expert or anything, but a lot of the song titles, lyrics and even the names of their releases just make no fucking sense at all. It’s really hard to decipher the meaning of these songs and what the hell they’re talking about, with lines like: “Pellucid Hazes of evil – The forgiveness unachieved – Languid dead – Taunt incarnation”. The lyrics come off as a bunch of arcane and profound words got thrown together and shat out all over the place; it’s a mess.
I normally wouldn’t complain about something like the lyrics, but this is really something that could easily be fixed. I understand that Lectern is from Italy, but don’t tell me in this day and age you can’t proofread! Lectern, as well as Apoptosis Gutrectomy and Injury Deepen are guilty of this, but great music nonetheless!
To sum up, Precept of Delator is a pretty solid record. I wasn’t bored through any part of it, and it really brought me back to some of my favorite albums from CC, Deicide, Obituary, and Death. If you’re into the kind of worship Lectern does for these bands, this is right up your alley. This is a band that’s still evolving, and has yet to achieve it’s peak sound, so for the next record I’d expect a big step-up from this one. 7.5/10.
I encourage you to support he music you love! Links below: