Obsidian Refractions

rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Charnel Passages
02. Abhorrence Evangelium
03. Necropolis of Obsidian Mirrors
04. Scorn Manifestation
05. Interminable Rebirth of Abomination
06. Drowned

CRUCIAMENTUM is one of death metal's most revered, underground, post-2000 bands for "those in the know." Eight years since its proper debut full-length, "Charnel Passages", CRUCIAMENTUM return with what is sure to be one of the year's best death metal albums, its sophomore effort, "Obsidian Refractions".

The quartet is an international one in the truest sense. Ringleader and guitarist Dan Lowndes moved from England to the United States, there was a member from Scotland, and their new drummer is American (IMPRECATION's Matt Heffner, whose extensive resume includes OATH OF CRUELTY, THY FEEBLE SAVIOUR, MORBOSIDAD, among others). It's a testament to Lowndes's tenacity that he's continued marching as the sole original member in the face of the obvious obstacles and challenges involved in maintaining an underground project that's spread across the globe. That passion is evident on "Necropolis of Obsidian Mirrors", a song that drives with fierce purpose, casting a dark, otherworldly web that pulls you in before an onslaught of death metal fury takes hold.

This blend of dynamic, atmospheric soundscapes and belligerent, timeless death metal pretty much defines the essence of CRUCIAMENTUM and "Obsidian Refractions". Lowndes and company have just become significantly better in expressing themselves. The shortest of the album's six tracks, "Abhorrence Evangelium", a number that sounds like an updated take on "Covenant"-era MORBID ANGEL, is barely shy of five minutes. Each song is a voyage that rarely repeats itself, but unlike the typical snooze-inducing approach of BLOOD INCANTATION, CRUCIAMENTUM makes memorable music that sticks with you.

"Scorn Manifestation" is one of the more traditional and consistently aggressive songs, encompassing meticulous and melodic twists and turns, and a labyrinth of mysterious death metal riffs that are incredibly addictive. Not to be confused with the song of the same name from ENTOMBED's debut, album closer, "Drowned" creeps and crawls hypnotically into the grey matter.

CRUCIAMENTUM is a next-level band that will surely win over audiences if given the opportunity to tour with the likes of OBITUARY, CARCASS and others of that caliber, and with "Obsidian Refractions", CRUCIAMENTUM have proven themselves to be amongst death metal's most elite.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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