Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cenotaph - Reincarnation In Gorextasy - 2007 Unmatched Brutality Records

What do we have here? You can bet I fucking ran to the store (webstore, you know) and bought this right when it was announced for order. Why? Because Cenotaph do brutal death right. Their last album, Pseudo Verminal Cadaverium, is in my top ten technical death metal releases ever, and is probably the best example of modern tech-brutal deathgrind at its absolute pinnacle. But this review is not about the last one, it's about this monstrous work.

Upon receiving this, I listened immediately. I remember practically blinking and missing the entire album, which was kind of deterring to me. Apologies for bringing up the last album again, but I have a few reference points to establish. First of all, the time. PVC was 39 minutes long; a veritable LONG-PLAYING ALBUM of ridiculous, spazzy, shifting, yet precise and surgical death metal. This is...25 minutes. C'MON! We want MORE gore-splattered brutality...bah.

Anyway, the other reference I have to make is the songwriting. I dunno what happened, but I remember the band announcing that they were changing their style a little, and the sample on their Myspace pre-buying the album ("Human Flesh Wax") was a bit of a clue-in, but it still sounded rather great. This is nowhere close to as sophisticated in technical yet tasteful songwriting as PVC; that is not to say, however, that the band has forgotten how to write excellently crafted, definitely not, considering there are a shitload of epic riffs thrown around all over the place here. The snare sound has been altered and is much deeper, and the speed has changed accordingly; the entire BPM of the band has slowed down to mid-fast paced. There are not even close to as many hyper/gravity blast sections as on the previous album, but I can deal with the change considering the awesome total sound we have here. Pounding rhythms, pinch-harmonic laden, well-constructed riffs and breakdowns, and the trademark feral vocals of Batu Cetin.

At first, this might seem like a disappointment. I remember feeling kinda empty, to be honest, after the initial listen. But in true metal fashion, this fucker grew on me like fungus after a couple more spins. And because it's so short, it's a handy palette cleanser or throw-it-on-anytime record! Recommended!

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