Today's review is an offering by fellow partner in crime and long time contributor, Rigas. This guy may look like an outgoing peaceful rastafari dude on the outside, but he actually has a soft spot for brutal, underground and uncompromising music. He has gotten me into loads of bands in the past and UK's Cruciamentum just got added to the list. This guy knows his shit; read on to see what he had to say about this ultra-brutal band's new offering and be forewarned: this is some of the heaviest stuff we've ever featured here!
Death metal in 2011 bares the long history of one of the most extreme musical expressions. The genre had ups and downs in popularity but also quality; nevertheless there is a rich legacy with numerous landmark releases. Therefore, the bar is set high for new bands and I believe there is only room for dedicated people and crucial stuff, like this one.
Learn more out the awesome cover by Alexander L. Brown here
Cruciamentum play death metal - just that - and that is very refreshing in times saturated by music overproduction where every band is blending countless styles in their songs (deathcore is now on demand, following the metalcore hype). While others try to broaden their sound in a superficial cut & paste fashion, Cruciamentum take the time to focus on their sound and devote themselves to the long tradition of death metal. As they go deeper they bring much more for us to listen: three death metal epics with manifold yet ‘organic’ shifts in exciting flow, ultra-heavy ‘buried’ sound, low guttural and relatively discreet vocals and a ritualistic occult feeling.
There is a cryptic ambience omnipresent; Cruciamentum are interested to create a specific sound and atmosphere in which to deliver their music. Knowing how to play authentic death metal, they are not exhausting themselves just playing as fast and brutal as possible. Their sound draws parallels to Dead Congregation, Disembowelment, Funebrarum, Demigod, Immolation, Incantation and Winter (less). It somehow reminded me also Morbid Angel of ‘Gateways to Annihilation’ era, but much more low-fi.
Cruciamentum shift skilfully a lot of tempos yet they incorporate also some slow, doom parts (remember Disembowelment! e.g. the 3rd minute mark of ‘’deathless ascension’’) which are very effective in their music. They also throw in some ‘morbid’ yet majestic melodies which at times are even reminiscent of early 90’s atmospheric doom/death (they use synths at the end of the EP). Surprisingly, there is a crushing beatdown part in ‘’Rotten flesh crucifix’’ which fits great and is very functional in the flow of the song, while later is coated with an obscure, bitter melody. Frankly, it is one of the best death metal releases I heard in years with its superior black & white aesthetics.
Cruciamentum hail from UK and they were formed back in 2005, but their line-up solidified in 2009. “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” comes in MCD and 10’’ MLP formats from the Greek Nuclear Winter records. It is a re-issue of their 2009 demo. ‘Rotten flesh crucifix’ has been already released as a demo in 2008. They are part of a stream of serious, original, crafty, quality death metal bands (Dead Congregation, Ectovoid, Swallowed, Eibon etc.) which are well-distanced from the gore death produced by the kilos. This wave of bands has been also visualized by committed artists like Alexander L. Brown (check also Timo Ketola, Toshiro Egawa, Mark Riddick and Scott Stearns among others), who illustrated this magnificent cult cover.
Support and disseminate original music!