This relatively new project of Mexican death/black metal’s elite is more-or-less a fusion of members from two notable underground groups from the Monterrey scene going all the way back to the early 90’s. Osculum might not have released much since their formation in 1993 but their 2018 full-length still carries their original thread of primitive and slightly melodic black metal. Argentum are perhaps much better known for their innovative black/doom metal debut full-length ‘Ad Interitum Funebrarum’ in 1996 and their discography is a trip from start to finish. Rex Defunctis ends up entirely in the death/doom spectrum consisting of lifetime members of the extreme metal underground who have a shared love of classic heavy metal as well as death metal. Their sound on ‘Tenebrarum Vobiscum’ could have been a continuation beyond what Anathema were doing on their 1990 demo ‘All Faith is Lost’ that was a mix of death metal and almost Candlemass influenced riffing in between.
Like any good death/doom album worth a shit some of the doom-focused riffing takes cues from Paradise Lost‘s debut, as well as some of their more Sabbath-esque guitar work on ‘Shades of God’. There is some small element of ‘gothic’ death/doom at hand but very minimal and never so melodramatic that it starts to sound like a Peaceville release or early Opeth record. Outside of those moments Rex Defunctis has a slight tonal similarity to the early releases from Finnish band God Forsaken but with more of an ‘edge’ and their own thread of insanity that is closer to The Chasm‘s debut ‘Procreation of the Lost Temple’ or the first Traumatic Voyage record.
For the death metal purist I think “Psicotico Limbo Muerto” has the most distinct set of riffs and some appropriately crazy vocal work, and this track stood out to me most outside of the ‘Lost Paradise’-esque riffs. Upon repeated listens I didn’t have any major gripes, though I didn’t find the entirety of the album memorable beyond some of the guitar work. The only part I tended to skip was the spoken intro to the first track but “Necremia” is otherwise a great opener and gives a good sense of what I mean when I say the music is gothic death/doom tinged but still very much a death metal band. Pretty decent album and very professional for a debut.
On the river of the thorns. 3.25/5.0
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