Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cerekloth: In the Midst of Life We Are in Death (2013)

They Are in Death

I’m not quite sure if this title, In the Midst of Life We Are in Death, is intended as a commentary on the current state of death metal. The last year’s death metal output has been almost completely underwhelming. And if that’s what Cerekloth trying to say, they’re right about the In the Midst of Life part. But more importantly, they’ve also earned the right to claim they Are in Death.

The Danish five-piece have as honest and unaffected take on death metal as any band in recent memory. They’re clearly not modern death metal, but they’re not old-school either. You have to turn the volume up a few notches to hear it properly, but they’re not afraid of melody or outside influence either. They’ve freed themselves from the constraints of uber-specific genre, and the result is a fucking monster of an album.

They play to the doomier side of death metal, with plenty of groove (check “When Outcast Become Kings” or “Within the Hollow Crown”). Alongside the bowel-born death growls and traditional death leads are black metal gurgles and dissonance (see “Halo of Syringes”). The melody is there when it’s needed (“Born of the Void”), but they don’t use it as a crutch; they can write proper death metal riffs, and they do so with variety of style and tempo all over the 38 minute runtime.

I also have to mention the impressive sound job. While I do find it a mild inconvenience to have to adjust my volume, it’s much better to hear something with dynamic range like this. The criminals are the ones who are making the records too loud. Also, whatever you’re doing with the high-hat, keep doing that.

In short, this is an extremely impressive debut LP. Hells Headbangers know what they’re doing.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

(This is from their prior EP, but you get the idea.)

Preorder/Buy In the Midst of Life We Are In Death (releases April 16)

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