2015 is shaping into a stellar year for death metal and Cruciamentum's debut release, the soul crushing Charnel Passages is yet another example of this. The fact of the matter is that this vicious, technical, and overwhelming record is a death metal epic for a new generation. With raw drums, crushing riffs and beautifully guttural growls Cruciamentum have lived up to their past promise and unleashed one of the most vital death metal records you will ever hear. Capable of standing up next to classic lords like Gorguts as well as overwhelming modern masters, Cruciamentum are the real fuckin' deal.
One of the things that stuns me about this record is how, with a relatively limited sonic palate they are able to go out and create something at once atmospheric and violent. From the very first song you can tell that Cruciamentum are turned on to something special, fusing several sides of death metal into something transcendent and beautiful. The polymerization of ideas here leads to a record that is continually balancing on the edge of a knife. At once Cruciamentum are able to evoke the death metal underground as well as technical death metal dorkery. Charnel Passages has a little something for any fan of extreme music and suffocating under its storm of sound is a pleasure.
Cerebral and yet still somehow down to earth Cruciamentum are going to keep you hungry for death metal salvation. This is a record that was not meant for the faint of heart, but rather hose who can look beyond and understand the true greatness of the genre that God cast aside. Charnel Passages is a challenging listen at times, but also a very rewarding one. There are a lot of layers to pick apart here and the deeper you go down the rabbit hole the harder it is to find yourself coming up with reasons to get the hell out.
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