Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cadaveric Fumes / Demonic Oath: Entwined in Sepulchral Darkness (2014)

French Revolution

Like pretty much everyone, I used to think France was a joke. Derisive comments about surrender usually come up when middle-Americans discuss the country. When I thought of French metal, I thought of power metal bands singing about fairies or whatever.

But the French actually have a long history of being total badasses, events from the first half of the Twentieth Century notwithstanding. Cadaveric Fumes and Demonic Oath reassert that aspect of French culture. Other than a demo from each of them, the 2014 split Entwined in Sepulchral Darkness is their debut to the world. And sacrebleu! This is one hell of an introduction.

This is absolutely fucking glorious. Or, it would be, if “glorious” didn’t seem like the wrong word to describe brutal, crypt-borne death metal. No one in their right mind would call this modern death metal, but it doesn’t really sound old-school either. The stench of death is about this, at its most pungent. Recalling the death of 20 years ago wouldn’t pack the same punch.

Each band contributed two tracks of superbly heavy, ugly, raw, death metal. Demonic Oath is slightly slower-paced, and also has a few blackened touches. But Cadaveric Fumes bring the meatiest, most incredible death metal riffs of this sort since Vasaeleth’s “Gateway to the Cemetery of Being.” That was nearly five years ago. If you can hear “Aeon of Scorn” without spontaneously headbanging, then you simply don’t like death metal. If the lurch-and-run of “Dreadful Remembrance” doesn’t make you involuntarily throw the horns, then it’s time to donate all your black T-shirts and start up the Mumford & Sons station on Pandora.

This is fucking incredible. I would have put Entwined on my top ten list for the year if I had waited another week to write it.

The Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

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