Rounding out a short list of black metal related albums I overlooked or under-hyped this year is Chilean occult black/death metal band Cenotafio’s first full-length ‘La Fatídica Excrecencia de la Subtierra’. The sound and style of this album should be no surprise to anyone who’d heard their ‘El encierro de las grandes revelaciones‘ demo from 2015. The demo was almost a full hour long and featured bestial atmospheric black metal with so much reverb and tape-hissing noise that it probably appeared far more necro-cool than it actually was. The slower riffing didn’t hit very hard and the drumming was such chaos I wasn’t sure if he knew how to even use his crash at all. Thankfully this full-length is polished up and still retains that obscure cave-metal sound without the amateurish pan-swatting.
In fact this album places Cenotafio onto the world stage in better fashion than most occult or atmospheric black/death albums of late. Their sense of slow-burning atmospheric progression, extended compositions, and grandiose grinding riffs is above average. When I say extended compositions I only suggest they couldn’t possibly stretch their ideas beyond the average 8-10 minute songs without losing their impact. In fact few of these tracks need to extend beyond six minutes and the atmospherics included aren’t important beyond introducing the murky but heavy production sound. I would most closely compare this to something like Maveth or Mitochondrian in terms of sheer blurry reverb, guitar attack and ‘howling in a corridor’ vocals.
‘La Fatídica Excrecencia de la Subtierra’ compares favorably to recent albums by Sheidim, Aosoth, and this band would fit in very well on a label like WTC Productions. I find a lot of what appeals to be about this band is the cavernous and sinister sound more than the actual riffs as there are no major standouts. The songs are movements that blend together a bit too much, though they offer a sort of lax earlier-DsO vibe at times with dissonance and relentless drumming. Regardless of how it stacks up to other black metal in 2017 and beyond, there is something oddly compelling and special about this debut from Cenotafio. It could just be my bias for the melted face painting on the cover and the epic scale of their compositions but whatever it is that comes together has kept me coming back to this record despite its standard sonic personality.
|Released||July 27, 2017|
|Listen on YouTube (Full Album)||Order from Memento Mori|
Debajo de los cielos negro. 3.75/5.0
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