|3.5 (1 votes):
If you’re involved in the underground Extreme Metal circles, it’s pretty much unavoidable that you’re probably going to come across the myriad of bands that have sprung up during this current resurgence of Old-School Death Metal. It’s pretty much inevitable, because it is a very lively and thriving scene right now, and it seems like new albums and demos are being released all the time these days. While the trend does have its criticisms, like some bands being rather “samey”, it’s also something that people praise and eat up as well, and I can kind of see it from both sides. I really enjoy hearing bands that are bringing back just that grimy and disgusting 90’s death metal sound, but it’s also something that I can really only listen to for so long before feeling a little bit of burn-out. So as you may have guessed- we’re talking about a new Old-School style Death Metal release today. The Debut EP by the Mexican Death Metal band, Cimmerian Possession, released off of Personal Records. So what did I think about it?
It’s a fairly short EP, clocking in at about 17 minutes, only 4 tracks so I figured I might as well go track-by-track. The opening track, “Castles”, starts off with a slower paced riff with a crushing atmosphere, with a clearly audible bass lurking in the background, with some thunderous sounding drumming, all building up to some diabolical sounding tremolo picking as the pace starts to pick up, all until you’re greeted with an iconic Tom G. Warrior-esque “ügh”. It all amounts to a pretty satisfying and intense pay-off after a nice, tense build-up. The vocals of course have that classic deep growly tone, sounding like the primordial lord of the abyss who you have disrupted the slumber of, they’re pretty typical for death metal, first thing you’d think of when you think of death metal vocals- definitely something I haven’t heard before, but I can’t say I have any complaints about them either. Then the bass I would have to give points for, because like I said, It’s pretty audible, but it also just adds so much extra beefiness to the mix, not really just kind of keeping a low profile and mimicking the riffs, but actually kind of standing out. I might be crazy but when I hear the main riff, I feel like it either sounds like more of a mid-paced, perhaps slightly crust infused early Napalm death riff- but again, I might just be crazy.
Both the first track, “Castles” and the second track, “Flames” are pretty simple in structure, but effective. Beefy mid-paced riffs, slower riffs that build-up tension, some atmospheric solo passages from the lead guitar harmonizing with the riffs of the rhythm guitar, and evil sounding tremolo picking, all wrapped up with a grimy and dirty production sound. It also has quite a bit of a cavernous atmosphere overall, with quite a bit of depth. This mostly holds true for the rest of the release for the most part. But “Flames” definitely has some catchiness to some of the riffs though, one of them has a semi Egyptian Scale sounding thing going on it seems, and it also has an incredibly tense and oppressive section towards the end, with vocals that just sound totally tortured and devastated. It’s not often throughout this release that you hear much range in the vocals, but aside from the occasional higher shrieks, this moment is a good showcase of the range of the vocalist.
The third track, the “Wrathful” starts off with a hypnotic sounding riff that makes you feel as if you’re spiraling into a maddening trance, and it leads into an especially crunchy sounding riff that might’ve caused an extra layer of hair to grow on my chest, and I usually think that’s a pretty good sign whenever I hear riffs that are so testosterone fueled that they stimulate chest hair growth. Honestly I don’t see why they don’t promote a playlist of metal songs for male hair growth, like for facial hair, chest hair, leg hair, or whatever. But yeah, it was definitely another highlight of the EP for me, and this is probably what adds such an unbridled feeling of chaos and devastation to the song. It has its slower, crushing moments too, like around the middle, along with a pretty killer bass solo, and then with that build up, they top it off with a rage fueled D-beat climax. I’d say that overall that has to be probably my favorite track on the album if I’m being honest. Then in “Bringer of Night” there’s another ügh after another sinister and spooky sounding opening riff- I mention that because that’s probably my favorite type of homage to classic extreme metal artists. Then of course the rest of the song is mostly pretty devastating throughout, but I honestly kind of thought that it seems to be the most forgettable aside from the spookiness and the ügh.
Overall the entire release is very short and sweet- it has a pretty chaotic, tense and dirty sound, as well as having its cavernous and atmospheric undertones, and it’s a pretty decent debut for the band. But I’d also have to say that it’s not the most innovative either- but it’s a little bit above average Old School Death Metal. So I’d have to give this about 7.5/10. You might enjoy this if you’re into Old School Death Metal, you might like it if you’re into Incantation, Disma, Morbid Angel or maybe even some newer bands like Scorched, maybe Gatecreeper. I’d definitely love to see what this band has in store for the future, and this was definitely a good first attempt, and I see a lot of potential, but I also think that there’s more growth that they could have in their identity going forward too. Give it a listen, and if you’d like, you can pick the CD up at Personal Records, or on Bandcamp. So I’m glad to have spread the good word of metal for you today, hopefully you found something new you might like, and remember to treat yourself today- we all need to take care of ourselves every now and then, and I hope you have an awesome day.
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