Review: Cambion “Conflagrate The Celestial Refugium” [Lavadome Productions]

Review: Cambion “Conflagrate The Celestial Refugium” [Lavadome Productions]

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This March the American/German death metal band Cambion has released their first debut album “Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium” through the Czech label Lavadome Productions. The band is active from 2013, and through these years they have teased the death metal fans with one single and EP, and now they are ready to reach farther with this new creation.

Cambion hails from Texas, USA and Germany, and this bright contrast also strongly represents their roots into their music. With a sophisticated and pedantic techno death metal from Western Europe their music is also influenced by groove and core-like hints from Southern state of USA. This death metal has thrashy foundation and grindcore spirit, as well as progressive elements, almost depressingly chaotic, but still, the overall mood is well-considered and precise, despite the overlaying structure of the songs. It’s so strange to admit, but although this is very classically performed death metal with blasting level of aggression and arduous temper, it emanates the total creative uniqueness. So, that’s near impossible to compare them with other death metal bands, but they are far from avant-garde approach as well with this canonical code of traditions.

The fastness of this release is truly incredible, so no wonder, that this kind of speedy death metal is so close to grindcore concept with slight crusty notes (like in “Cambion”) and inexorable rawness of the music itself (but not the sound, which is quite clean for such a release). The groove elements create more modern sound and belligerent hardcore/punk attitude (especially on “Vae Victus”). The never-ending guitar solos and overlapping riffs of Thorben Rathje sound totally insane and nonearthly, blasting with so intense and disturbing anxiety within this tech-death metal trip. And with a pounding wall of blast beats from their drummer Chason Westmoreland, the severity of aggression even increases. The violent screams of their singer (and bassist) Richard Osmond adds some spice to this death metal brutality, more suited to black metal.

“Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium” is in a way very smooth and eventless album, all the songs are similar in their rapid aggressiveness and speedy brutality with some tiny surprises, like marching drums (“Cities of Brass”) or slow choruses (“Fatalitism”). But with one huge exception. The last long track “Obscuratio” actually sounds out of place. It is totally instrumental, with lengthy atmospheric and moody passages, when technicality and smartness is really audible; it lacks the noisy chaoticness of previous compositions and has some beautiful acoustic parts and is characterized by the sense of discreet refinement. And that was unexpected and very original way to finish this maddeningly dark and harsh death metal album.

Cambion can feel themselves totally safe within the realm of death metal, despite their bizarre messiness and grindy flirtations, the dirtiness of their music is cleansed away by a sharp progressive alertness. The chaotic glares of colors and shapes are also perfectly represented through their cover art, so bright and disparate under the influence of sorcery and death topics. So, Cambion has managed to create with their debut album “Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium” the sense of disharmonious harmony, so rare phenomenon, when the classical traits, messiness, and a unique vision merge into a single whole.

Release date: March 23, 2021

https://www.facebook.com/cambiontx

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