Reviews by Jason Guest
Cerekloth – In The Midst Of Life We Are In Death
Release Date: 16 April 2013
Death metal has been done to, well, to death, hasn’t it? And it’s still being done to death, isn’t it? The graveyard of all things grisly and ghastly has been spluttering forth so many bands from its murky depths for so long that the ground upon which the dead walk is fraught with clone after clone after clone. So much so that it’s exhausting to find a release that offers something that’s genuinely exciting. And then along comes Cerekloth with In The Midst Of Life We Are In Death, a sickening brute of malevolent death metal that will make the zombie horde consider fresher flesh for their feast.
From the atmospheric opening arpeggios of ‘Praeludium’ and the accompanying nightmare-inducing ‘Born Of The Void’ through the piercing strains of ‘Halo Of Syringes’, the infectious ‘Nest Of Disease’, through to the epic closer, ‘The Reaper’s Instant Is Our Eternity’, Cerekloth mercilessly drag the listener to the periphery of existence to face its awful ordeals alone. Awash in gruesome guitar tones and gravel-gargling vocals, this is a mass of dense, oppressive, and abrasively atmospheric tracks. Like gargling blood, this is only a gag reflex away from choking. A sinister and brooding début, In The Midst Of Life We Are In Death is a fresh slab of contaminated meat that’s been long needed. Highly recommended.
8 out of 10
- Visit Cerekloth at Hells Headbangers here
- Praeludium + Born Of The Void
- Within The Hollow Crown
- Halo Of Syringes
- Nest Of Disease
- Mesmerising Holy Death
- When Outcast Become Kings
- The Reaper’s Instant Is Our Eternity
Impious Baptism – Wrath of the Apex Predator
Release Date: 16 April 2013
Blackened death metal assaults should be ruthless. There’s no other way to put it, is there now? And nor should we expect anything less, should we now? Any band that willingly wields an inverted crucifix or two whilst sinfully supping from the chalice of deathly blackened elixir of hate must, simply must prove themselves worthy of imbibing such malevolence, mustn’t they now? And so, with the opening chords of ‘Revelation To Annihilate’ being insufficient preparation for the fires that rapidly rise for this all-too-brief two-minute largely-instrumental primer, Australia’s Impious Baptism quickly do so. Almost. Oh-so-disappointingly, the track fades after about seventy seconds into a long, icy drone. Gah!
But fear not because fortunately it segues into ‘The Age Of Firelords’ where a slab of savage riffs juxtaposed with fiery doom-laden chords lead us grimly to the track’s hostile demise painted with a haunting atmospheric passage. Thus, the template for the rest of the tracks is set. But far from detracting from the album’s wicked intent, these evocative segues provide a plateau upon which the listener can savour their corruption. Riffs carved of fire are built into mighty structures of stone and the wrath of innumerable hellish beasts caged in eternity is given its moment of release. Like most of this ilk, Wrath of the Apex Predator’s worship of both the genre and the naughty horned one make for an intense, unremitting, and remorseless core and an utterly raging and barbarous début.
7.5 out of 10
- Visit Impious Baptism here
- Revelation To Annihilate
- The Age Of The Firelords
- Axis Of Lucifer
- Arcane Funeral Rites
- Release The Titans Pt.I
- Release The Titans Pt.II
- Wrath Of The Apex Predator
- Rites Of Illuminated Death
- Temple Of Necromancy
Incantation – Diabolical Conquest
Release date: 26 January 2013
First released in 1998, Diabolical Conquest was long overshadowed by the band’s first two albums, 1992’s Onward to Golgotha and 1994’s Mortal Throne of Nazarene. Regarded as the two albums that defined their sound, Incantation quickly came to be the victims of their own success, giving themselves much to live up to with subsequent releases. Yet despite numerous issues with the band line-up and record label problems Incantation’s vision remained the same and with Diabolical Conquest, they produced an album that would see them set a new standard not just for themselves, but for death metal itself.
One of the most notable aspects is the production. With the guitars being given a much less swampy sound, the intricate guitar work can be savoured in all its intensely brutal nastiness. With the tempos, time signatures, and textures shifting through an array of grooves and atmospheres, the band’s customary complex and involved structures were now smoother, seamless, and more gratifying. Incantation’s song-writing and their execution had shifted up more than a few notches. And nowhere is this best exemplified than in the seventeen minute closing track, ‘Unto Infinite Twilight / Majesty of Infernal Damnation’. Not once does this track show even the vaguest sign of faltering across its ominously ambitious structure. Death metal is being done to death for a reason. It may have worn over time but this is it. If you missed it the first time around, get your hands on Diabolical Conquest now.
7.5 out of 10
- Visit Incantation here
- Impending Diabolical Conquest
- Desecration (Of The Heavenly Graceful)
- Disciples Of Blasphemous Reprisal
- Unheavenly Skies
- United In Repugnance
- Shadows Of The Ancient Empire
- Ethereal Misery
- Unto Infinite Twilight / Majesty Of Infernal Damnation