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Convocation of Crawling Chaos - 95%

dismember_marcin, August 22nd, 2012

I still feel amazed by the quality and passion, which so many new death metal bands deliver, when they play the old styled sounds like 1990 only just began. Really, would you expect three years ago to hear such amazing bands as Disma, Father Befouled, Invidious, Miasmal and so many more? I guess no, but this is why the bigger is my enthusiasm for this never ending wave of old school death metal zombies. Every month I find about new band or release and some time ago I got interested in Cruciamentum. This English squadron of death was popping up frequently in many publications or blogs, which I have read and so I finally decided to give a try and listen to some of their songs, which quickly made me purchase two CDs, which Cruciamentum released so far. “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” is actually the second demo of those Brits, but I think the overwhelming reaction on this cassette pushed them and Nuclear Winter Records to release it on CD and LP. Since I missed my chance to buy the vinyl, I am happy to have the compact disc and I must admit that this is probably the best English death metal band, which was spawned in the darkness ever since the early 90’s, when Bolt Thrower, Cancer, Benediction and Decomposed were spreading their sounds of doom and apocalypse. I am very, very impressed by “Convocation of Crawling Chaos”!!!!!!!!!

Style wise Cruciamentum obviously takes some credit from the legacy of their native scene, so don’t be surprised to hear some Bolt Throwerism here and there or even some very, very early Paradise Lost and Decomposed doomy parts. But the biggest influence on “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” must have been delivered from across the ocean, from the band called Incantation. Most of this material has been played in doomy tempo, but while so many bands fail to impress with slow playing, which often turns into boring crap, Cruciamentum wins, as the sounds they created in the catacombs of Resonance Sound Studio have a great strength and ability to crush the walls. This music is truly massive and damn heavy, and so is the production, which nicely underlines the energetic and powerful feeling of those sounds. Each of the four tracks is excellent and I like them totally. The songwriting is ideal; so memorable parts, which just make you bang the skull in frenzy and feel the earth trembling, especially when the band fastens the pace and really seem to be a beast unleashed from hell… I love the riffing and I really like the deep, guttural vocals of D.L., who growls like Craig Pillard. Finally I also like the sound of “Convocation of Crawling Chaos”. I am not going to make complain on anything here; Cruciamentum made a fantastic demo and made me worship their name in fanatical ways! "Rotten Flesh Crucifix" is definitely a song, which caught my attention most; it is simply superb, maybe slightly more atmospheric than the rest, it even has some melodic leads here and there and keyboard played background, what only adds more darkness to the already obscure, eerie atmosphere.

When I listen to “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” for the hundredth time I still cannot resist its apocalyptic sounds and the eerie atmosphere, which they evoke. In my opinion Cruciamentum is a band, which is destined to gain some sort of underground success – or however you’ll call being recognised and worshiped by the horde of dedicated maniacs. With the line up, which consists the members of already established and respected bands like Adorior and Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum brings attention and do not disappoint. I am afraid only that with such a strong material as “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” it will be damn difficult for this band to record something even more killer and depraved. Time will tell, as their second opus, “Engulfed in Desolation”, already waits for me. For now I can say that Cruciamentum is as good as Disma, two greatest bands, which play this sort of Incantation worshipping death metal.

Darkness prevails - 99%

redless, May 1st, 2012

The title of the review didn't really need a lot of imagination to come up with, to be honest. It is in fact very much describing of the feeling this opus emits. So, Cruciamentum is a band that features members from older underground extreme metal band Grave Miasma. It's needless to say that it was expected that Cruciamentum would be a blaster as well.

The surprising element here is what I will state right in the very next period. Cruciamentum's "Convocation of Crawling Chaos" stands on top of this whole old-school death metal movement, alongside exclusively Dead Congregation's "Graves of the Archangels" and maybe Vasaeleth's "Crypt Born and Tethered to Ruin", in my opinion. Of course, bands like Incantation and Rottrevore need not be mentioned as having heavy influence on the band's sound on this opus. I also sight Drawn and Quartered, Winter and Disembowelment as influential to the sound of the demo and we're over with the influence part, without that meaning that there is not MUCH more into the band's death metal. Seeing that the band belongs to the roster of Nuclear Winter Records, whose manager Anastasis (also in Dead Congregation) has seemingly infallible instinct on who he signs, you can tell on your own that they copy no one.

The record starts with a creepy introduction named "Intromantical Scream", and the mind immediately depicts "To Mega Therion"'s album cover. As the demo unfolds, the uber-heavy doom aspect of the music is imminent to the listener and the intro's name seems to make sense. The bandmembers are greatly proficient players, of course escaping the trap of meaningless, exorbitantly technical playing. Want to know what the best part is? These guys are not only fans of death metal, they seem to have death metal embedded within them. They obviously have vast knowledge of the death metal heritage and thus deliver soulfully crafted SONGS. Not tracks. Mostly depending on mid-tempo parts, they do not hesitate to put slow doom breaks or rapid blasters in their songs, achieving variation while retaining their perfect consistency and flow. In particular, closing track Rotten Flesh Crucifix seems to be of such paramount quality, that in my mind achieves the status of all time classic. Of course, the other two songs are also ultimately astounding, to the point where many classic bands would sound inadequate next to Cruciamentum. I also want to make a reference to the production; all instruments are perfectly audible yet the sound is essentially old-school. And I love it.

So, all things considered, Convocation of Crawling Chaos is one of the best stuff you'll ever listen to if you like straight death metal and are repulsed by modern crap like Fleshgod Apocalypse. It's a wise decision to buy it. DOWNWARDS!

All our hopes and dreams devoured - 85%

autothrall, May 1st, 2010

Lately we've heard all manner of wretched, old school death metal resurfacing across the face of today's trend-heavy society, but I cannot say that this is an unwelcome shift in progress. Maybe its the fact that a whole new generation of metal fans are beginning to 'get it', or maybe it's just a cyclic byproduct of our cold and uncaring universe, but bands from all over like Decrepitaph, Innumerable Forms, Decrepitaph, Denial, Obliteration and Vasaeleth are starting to forge the way for the hideous rebirth of late 80s/early 90s sonic atrocity, often coupled with the benefit of today's denser production possibilities.

Cruciamentum is actually one of the best bands I've heard in this movement, a British act with members from another, similar styled (and better known) group called Grave Miasma. Tempering the morbid hostility of the eldest Incantation albums with the occasional war stomp of a Bolt Thrower or the sub-thrash outbreak of Consuming Impulse era Pestilence, their Convocation of Crawling Chaos demo is a true pleasure to experience, and it will only cost you 18 minutes of your life. Well, it's possible the cost might be higher, as the sound these men produce is so hopeless and deadening that existence beyond its playtime might be called to question. Vocalist D.L. is a mixed breed of Martin van Drunen, Karl Willets and Craig Pillard, and the ichor of his intonations blends like another instrument to the band's highly grim and subterranean atmospheres. The riffs here are extremely base and cavernous, but the band have a strong sense for songwriting elements, like breaking for atmosphere or rolling into a chug riff with HUGE bass at exactly the right moment, so their crude efforts do not evoke any semblance of ennui.

The "Intromantical Scream" is but a choir being near muted below the rush of dark ambient turmoil, before the drum fill heralds the Bolt Thrower-like crushing of "Deathless Ascension", bass so thick it is rattling off like machine-gun fire from the cockpit of a tank, all the while the steady verse riffs giving you the impression of sinking through a tarpit to an underworld of phantoms being butchered by oblivion. At around 1:00 the track takes a brief, thrashing spin which reminds of Pestilence, and later slows to a floe of sparse, death/doom chords while D.L.'s vocals resonate off the top. "Convocation of Crawling Chaos" picks the pace back up to chugging, hellish warfare, with a riff not unlike something you might find on the first two Obituary albums. The final track "Rotten Flesh Crucifix" is re-inserted and extended from the band's earlier, single track demo of the same, with a style much like the others but a little more melody by way of some primal, obscure 90s Swedish band, and a great synthesizer swell near the climax.

In a way, Cruciamentum are old hat, but the best kind of old hat, the one that everyone stares at as you head out for your morning coffee. Totally repressive, evil atmosphere that evinces no stray light, no hope and no future. If you were swallowed by an Elder God, and slowly waiting to be digested throughout eternity, tendrils writhing and stinging your flesh with bowel acids, this is the music you'd probably hear somewhere deep within your consciousness. No rewards will be given for innovation, although like many of these new creatures, the production is simply massive in a way that few of the older recordings could muster. What more can I add? Cthulhu F'tangh! IÄ! IÄ! IÄ Cthulhu!