RITES OF DAATH – Doom Spirit Emanation (2020)REVIEW

The snapping of life’s final synapse crossed, nerves necrotic and impulse-starved, awaiting new animation in death’s sorcery. An infectious scrape across the ribcage is the only morbid evidence left, with cries of Neiljeri! growing louder from the surviving wronged. Unsacred yichud, doomed in half-death’s dimension and shaking away the spirits final electricity from curled toes to wrenching eyelid — So denied is Da’at and no shore will be seen, only grey and wretched blindly hungering void. Vile shaman and reeling corpse in concert, Polish death/doom metal quartet Rites of Daath conjure scene after harrowing scene detailing a denial of passage, a ritual of malevolently captured flesh on their debut full-length ‘Doom Spirit Emanation‘. Writhing beneath their slow-burning curse, howling dread as damnation sinks its blunt and whirring teeth in, one’s true doom is revealed.

Sparked into jocular ember’d form as Cemetery Whore back in 2015 Rites of Daath would go through two formative motions before finally arriving upon unholiness; Their first demo ‘Into the Cunt of the Cemetery Whore‘ (2015) and a somewhat more ‘serious’ EP (‘Deathlike Passages‘, 2016) indicated an non-pretentious and grimy old school death/doom obsessed set of fellows from Kraków who’d definitely been stuck on early Celtic Frost and post-’92 Asphyx records for some time. This’d result in a style I’d place alongside maybe early Pentacle and some of the slower stuff from Obituary circa their ‘The End Complete’ days. Folks rarely know what to say when a Polish band doesn’t sound like Behemoth, so they were compared to Throneum a bit early on but in my ears I’d say these guys probably should’ve been seen as heavily influenced by early Necros Christos by the time their first EP as Rites of Daath (‘Hexing Graves‘, 2017) EP. It was their ‘breakthrough’, a serious moment where the final song, “Holy Death”, first indicated the thread which they’d continue in creation of this debut full-length. On ‘Doom Spirit Emanation’ they’re well-practiced and more than capable these days, whipping out gloriously atmospheric death/doom metal along the likes of Grave Miasma and Drowned with shades of Abythic along the way.

Having really picked up on the potential of this band circa the release of ‘Hexing Graves’ I’d been concerned that their comorbidity with Postmortal might’ve been a suggestion that Rites of Daath were taking a break, but ‘Doom Spirit Emanation’ is professional and thoughtfully achieved enough that it is clear this debut was a primary and serious undertaking compared to past works. That said, I’ve no doubt the nigh ‘caverncore’ feeling of the release will put off some folks who’re not accustomed to black/death metal’s gnashing dissonance meeting death/doom’s lumbering footprint head-on — The guitarist’s propensity for sliding into blast-accompanied, riff-heavy echo chambers might be a most valuable prospect to folks who’d loved the latest Grave Upheaval record. “Primeval Depths of Chaos” is more or less the apex of this condition and the band’s most whammy-diving, vortex-churning, death-doomed statement at nearly a fully 11 minutes. That’d been the song to force my mind to snap into form and best ‘get’ where Rites of Daath were coming from. Not too muddy but certainly indicative of arcane possession.

The title track and album opener rushes its worrisome infectiousness toward the listener with trepidation, detailing greater horrors to come as the drums batter their way forth. Slippery, Incantation-esque writhing follows taking the phrasal language of Rites of Daath‘s arrangement into the realm of modern, occult black/death metal just enough to slip over the edge while still resembling the rumbling curse of mid-paced death/doom metal. Chaotic control, and not overt (or, plainly presented) riffing, is an interesting enough choice to lead with, I’d not found the first couple of pieces on this album all that engaging beyond the exciting storm of estrangement implied. It’d been “Shrines of Seclusion” that caught my ear in the right place, likely due to the bass guitar insisting it be heard (as in “Holy Death” on the last EP). For a six song LP it isn’t the best start but that’d largely be because the record is back-loaded with riffs and heavier hitting songs. What begins in churning flux eventually melts into stronger mid-paced death metal songs, my favorite being the aforementioned “Primeval Depths of Chaos” and “Mercurian Blood” being a close second, recalling the very peak of early Necros Christos along the way. Of course I’d have liked more variety on this trip, it does feel as thought the palette is limited to theme or obfuscated by a very focused set of riffs that don’t diverge too strongly from their core statements.

The death/doom metal puritan might enjoy the implication of doomed motions but ‘Doom Spirit Emanation’ is better attuned to the ear of those thoughtfully entrenched in occult death metal rituals, black/death guitar work aiming for dread-inducing and ever-collapsing waves of doom rather than doom metal itself. The standout moments were few and far between in my experience but the whole ~40 minutes melded together into one satisfying accost of the corporeal, a cursed possession and a heavily lain atmospheric fog that was easy to appreciate. A high recommendation, aimed at fans of dark ritualistic death/doom metal permutations.

High recommendation.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
TITLE:Doom Spirit Emanation
LABEL(S):Godz ov War Productions
RELEASE DATE:July 6th, 2020
BUY/LISTEN/STREAM:Bandcamp [Digital]
GENRES:Death/Doom Metal

<strong>Help Support Grizzly Butts’ goals with a donation:</strong>

Please consider donating directly to site costs and project funding using PayPal.