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Darkness sets in - 86%

Drowned, December 21st, 2005

"The Eternal Disgrace" is the name of Cenotaph's second 7" vinyl released by Baphomet Records from California. What I always found strange about these two EP's is that the title "Tenebrous Apparitions" was used for their first one, but the actual song of that name didn't appear on it and was instead placed on side B of "The Eternal Disgrace". Who knows why they made things so confusing! In any case, Cenotaph continued to show improvement on this 7" and were able to finally carve a niche for themselves musically. Dark and dismal death metal is the recipe here.

The production on this 7" is different from the first one, but it's not necessarily better. It's got a more crunchier sound in terms of the guitars and bass, but the drums are mixed poorly and the highs aren't as clear as before. The bass is actually the stand-out instrument, helping to accentuate the morbid heaviness of the songs. Unfortunately, there's a bit of fluctuation in volume during the tempo changes, but it's only obvious if you're really studying the music as I was. On the positive end of things, Daniel Corchado's vocals really begin to take form here, as he does away with the cheesy, lifeless grunting used on the previous material. This time his voice is very entrancing and guttural, in the style of bands like Demilich, Mortal Decay, etc. He isn't afraid to experiment with other styles either, which is one of the main reasons why this release is so interesting.

"Dissection" is a catchy song played at fast tempo with a bit of chunky double bass sections in the end. Thanks to the abysmal vocals and guitar tone, there's a certain presence of Finnish death metal in the track. The way everything comes together in a rancid heap of darkness reminds me very much of bands like Pestigore, Agonized and early Adramelech. It's brilliant stuff... But the next song, "Tenebrous Apparitions", is definitely the highlite of the EP. This one begins in an epic, doom-like fashion with a series of droning guitar leads and even some keyboards in the background. It just gets better once the music speeds up. The riffs in this track are absolutely killer! This song was later re-recorded on "The Gloomy Reflection of Our Hidden Sorrows", where it sounds equally as good if not better.

So, musically they finally got it right but the production was still in need of some tweaking. Fortunately, the mediocre sound quality doesn't take much away from the enjoyment of this 7"... The truth is, it still sounds better than most Mexican death metal from that period. Don't hesitate to pick this up if you're lucky enough to find a copy.