Photo by Jack Latimer
On their full-length debut, UK death metal act Cruciamentum makes good on the promise suggested by their prior two demos and EP. The aptly titled Charnel Passages is a bludgeoning, seven-track descent into the familiar territory of death metal titans Immolation, or that of the band’s Profound Lore labelmates, Vasaeleth. The similarities end there, though, as Cruciamentum’s otherwise hollowed-out cellar dwelling sound comes with a ferocious lead guitar presence that tears across each song with malevolent fury. This isn’t straightforward death metal by any means, either; there are just as many doom and thrash touches as there are the trademark double kick rhythmic punches.
Cruciamentum is a prime example of Profound Lore’s proclivity for edging the genre confines with its band roster. There’s no doubt that Cruciamentum works the death metal angle with Charnel Passages, but it’s equally clear that the group are uninterested in rooting themselves to it exclusively. That they went into it faced with the difficult task of trying to fuck with a death metal formula that’s worked just fine for decades just makes Cruciamentum’s achievement with Charnel Passages all that much more impressive.
Listen to a wrathful new track, “Tongues of Nightshade,” below, and buy the album from Profound Lore on September 1.
Jonathan Dick is grinding axes on Twitter - @steelforbrains