CRUCIAMENTUM - Engulfed In Darkness (NUCLEAR WINTER - CD 2011)
Aaaaarrrggghhh, the death metal crusade, which Cruciamentum so successfully began on their amazing demo / CD “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” continues with this new material, MCD titled “Engulfed in Desolation”. If you have read my review of “Convocation…”, then you may remember how much I liked this stuff and that I considered it to be one of the best death metal releases of the present time, wondering at the same time whether Cruciamentum will be able to make anything better. I still had my hopes high for “Engulfed in Desolation”. And the first look at the CD was more than promising, as I just love the artwork for it. Daniel Corcuera did a brilliant job and I guess it is one of my favourite cover arts from the latest releases. The visual aspect of such releases is very important to me; you know, this is why I (or should I believe that we?) buy stuff… also to enjoy the artwork; otherwise we would be happy having just the soulless mp3’s. In case of Cruciamentum’s releases I must say that I really like their artworks and layouts. All are very detailed and so well sketched, by some of the best artists of nowadays, in case of “Engulfed in Desolation” by Chilean maniac, who also plays for Slaughtbbath!
But of corpse the music is always most important. Style wise, I have a feeling, like Cruciamentum has slightly developed on “Engulfed in Desolation” and while “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” was more or less just Incantation worship, then this newest MLP is slightly different. The influence from McEntee’s band is less dominating, although still present in few parts, but I think that mainly Cruciamentum took some evil spells from the likes of Morbid Angel, Immolation, Vital Remains, Bolt Thrower… just to say these few names. Already the first track is something what you wouldn’t find on the “Convocation…” material. “Fallen in Disease” is blasting with fury and massive brutality of the mentioned Immolation and Morbid Angel and I must say that Cruciamentum really slits the throats with the monolithic, heavy and bulldozing riffing. The pace is often fast as hell also and I don’t think that the band was blasting so much on their previous release. But I especially liked the final theme of this song, which is slower and more monumental, with some keyboards in the back of the wall of the riff. Arrghh, it truly sounds amazing. “Through Gates of Morpheus Realms” is again blasting with fury and hatred, creating a dismal atmosphere, but also releasing a lot of wrath and “Thrones Turned to Rust” begins with even faster motif, and really I can say that with the songs like these three, which I just mentioned, Cruciamentum has changed their style a lot. But of corpse it is still an old school death metal and one, which is of the highest quality, as even Vital Remains wouldn’t be ashamed to have a song like “Thrones Turned to Rust” on their album.
I must admit that the final song of this MCD is probably the finest piece of all and one, which perfectly shows the current style of Cruciamentum. “Unsanctified Temples” has everything what this British band should be known for… I mean it starts with really aggressive and fast part, which again will remind you the bands I mentioned above, but then at some point a more melodic theme appears and finally in the second part of this song the pace slows down drastically into amazingly atmospheric and heavy, doomy riff, what creates truly apocalyptic feeling. There are again some keyboards used and the whole track becomes truly eerie and dark, only to get more brutal and faster at the end. Yeah, “Unsanctified Temples” is just a superb song!
But as a whole “Engulfed in Desolation” gives me a small headache, as I cannot really say that I liked this material more than “Convocation of Crawling Chaos”. Hmm, both are truly exceptional and superb, but I guess I liked the atmosphere and the doomy feeling of the previous recording more, what doesn’t mean that I don’t like “Engulfed…”! Ha, I wish every band was as classy in this rotten death metal style as Cruciamentum are. Definitely I can say one thing – Cruciamentum has developed their style a lot since the demo. They became more technical, more tight and relentless, more brutal and faster. Also the production is more professional. I guess the best thing to do is just to enjoy both releases and bang the skull when listening to these colossal death metal beasts and just stop saying that this was better and that is not. Moaning is for pussies, so fuck that… Cruciamentum slays and that’s the most important fact! Hail!
Standout track: “Unsanctified Temples”
Final rate: 90/100