Cascading Memories Of Immortality

Everlasting Spew
rating icon 9 / 10

Track listing:

01. Foiled Skirmish
02. Plead For Termination
03. Asphyxiation Of Ecstasy
04. Bowels Of Gargantua
05. Siphoning Plasma From The Gods
06. Unhinged Cataclysm
07. Corporeal Affliction
08. Eroding Planetesimal (Interlude)
09. Cascading Memories Of Immortality

If the relentless onslaught of great new death metal bands and albums is becoming overwhelming, do feel free to dip out for a bit and get your breath back. But listen to "Cascading Memories Of Immortality" first.

The UK death metal scene is in its rudest state of health since the '90s, but even among such exciting, exalted company, VATICINAL RITES immediately stand out. The long-awaited follow-up to their stupidly great self-titled EP, released way back in 2021, the Londoners' debut full-length is really quite special.

The greatest trick VATICINAL RITES have pulled so far is their ability to evoke the past while never sounding like anything in particular. Those who marveled to the early works of MORBID ANGEL or VITAL REMAINS will certainly find much to get excited about here, but "Cascading Memories Of Immortality" is also ankle deep in dissonance, bound to a powerful sense of predatory groove, and unsettlingly strange and ominous. The production is powerful and dark, but harsh and gritty too, which gives these songs a sense of cross-dimensional otherness; as if someone terrifying is fucking with the timeframe and beaming these brilliant ideas back (or forward) from somewhere entirely unfathomable. Songs like mutant-metal opener "Foiled Skirmish" and "Asphyxiation Of Ecstasy" snap smartly from freaked-out virtuosity and gleefully jarring time signatures, to flat-out, old-school blasting and grinding; flashes of pestilent discord seeping through cracks in the VATICINAL RITES carapace.

Elsewhere, they idly generate an oppressive, otherworldly atmosphere with no bells or whistles whatsoever. "Bowels Of Gargantua" is simply a fantastic death metal song delivered by a skilled and vicious united force. The concluding solo is an absolute skull-smasher. "Siphoning Plasma From The Gods" is another high point among many: a squall of brutish haughtiness, it weaves and scythes its away across five riff-bloated minutes, conjuring unholy specters from the shadows and reeking of death and dismay. Again, brief moments may remind ageing death metal fans of NILE, or AKERCOCKE, or even Norway's AETERNUS, but VATICINAL RITES have such a unique vibe of their own that direct comparisons will just bounce off them, the clever bastards. Thus, "Cascading Memories Of Immortality" rattles on, from the abyssal ass-kickings of "Unhinged Cataclysm" and "Corporeal Affliction", through cryptic interlude "Eroding Planetesimal", to the title track's classic, epically pompous, slow-burning grand finale. As complete and cohesive as any of those revered '90s classics, this is easily comparable to any of the modern scene's most celebrated records. From one devoted death metal fan to the rest of you lovely people: do not miss out on this one.

Author: Dom Lawson
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