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While Mexican death metal horde Zombiefication‘s debut back in 2010, Midnight Stench was a pretty decent release, the band was still trying to find their sound, resulting in the album being somewhat inconsistent. Their EP last year Reaper’s Consecration saw the band solidfying their sound and style, and was an overall much more enjoyable release compared to their debut. At the Caves of Eternal is the band’s sophomore full length release, and with the stylistic shifts that the band has presented thus far with their releases, it leaves one to wonder what to expect from the band once more.
The band once again surprises listeners, as they present a sound that is more refined that what was even on Reaper’s Consecration. The old school Swedish death metal influences are clearer than ever, with the band’s musical style bearing striking resemblance to bands such as Entombed and Grave, with faster, thrashier moments being rather reminiscent of Repugnant. For instance, the riffing style and pattern of Disembodied Souls could easily fit on a Grave record with that trademark abrasive guitar tone. The drums also bring in a slight death ‘n’ roll edge at the same time, alternating between full on blasting segments and d-beats, and these manage to complement each other nicely.
However, the band has this time included much more variety in their songwriting, and instead of just one fast and relentless onslaught, there is an increased focus in the atmosphere in the music, what with the slower moments and the crushing riffs of Mr. Jacko. There are lots of slower passages on At the Caves of Eternal compared to prior releases of Zombiefication, and though the band’s music has always been rather atmospheric, this seems to take quite a centre-stage over here. The trem-picked riffs of Mr. Jacko, and that almost doomish pace that the band tends to utilise at times even brings to mind Finnish bands such as Convulse. Mr. Hitchcock’s blood-soaked vocals certainly helps in making the album have a sinister feel as well.
The entire album sees Zombiefication alternating between more straightforward, mosh-friendly sections like In the Mist and more crushing and darker ones like Passage of Darkness, providing At the Caves of Eternal with a nice variety of different sounds, and is definitely some of the finest material put out by the band so far.