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Rotten piece of death metal - 88%

lordazmolozmodial, September 14th, 2012

There are many death metal bands around the world today have the real old school taste in the structure of their records, such as Dead Congregation and Miasmal and Revel in Flesh, but actually Cruciamentum is somehow different than all of these bands though they also have the same old school death metal roots. The production of this EP is spawned from hell, the layers of the instruments overcoming each other behind the freak tune of the vocals. The guitars flow beneath the sound of the drums creating a huge coat of roughness around the drowning sound of the bass, the whole ambiance embodies the real sound of the 90's death metal art.

This EP contains only four pieces, the first track "Fallen In Disease" is an antique summation of sick and rotten OSDM sound, and it contains a lot of exciting moments of blasting drums and suffocated riffs. The second track "Through Gates Of Morpheus Realms" followed the same fabric of the first track, but with more potent riffs and deeper growling vocals. The track "Thrones Turned To Rust" is the shortest and the fastest piece in this release, the drumming of this track shows a real mixture between the OSDM and the modern death metal sound, which made this song more dynamic and memorable. The latest track "Unsanctified Temples" is the longest track in this record, the stable structure of this track reminded me of the structure that Massacre and Entombed have created before about twenty years, so you can imagine now the beauty of the old school sound that has been granted to this track. The music itself is somehow inspiring, because the twisted riffs of the tracks are creating a very odd atmosphere, and this atmosphere is really satisfying for all the old school death metal fans around the world, the tune of the guitars and the bass is excellent enough to take your breath away.

To be honest, I have no complaint about this album at all, every element in this record has just helped to make this record admirable and exceptional, so this release has been created to blow your ears if you're really a fan of the old school death metal genre. Engulfed In Desolation is a 25 minutes journey full of old and rotten melodies, so if you're following the scene of the new wave of old school death metal music, then you have to own a copy for this album now and forget about all the plastic and the silly modern death metal releases who are capturing the scene nowadays.

Originally written for:

Supreme death metal - 90%

dismember_marcin, August 22nd, 2012

Aaaaarrrggghhh, the death metal crusade, which Cruciamentum so successfully began on their amazing demo / CD “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” continues with this new material, MCD titled “Engulfed in Desolation”. If you have read my review of “Convocation…”, then you may remember how much I liked this stuff and that I considered it to be one of the best death metal releases of the present time, wondering at the same time whether Cruciamentum will be able to make anything better. I still had my hopes high for “Engulfed in Desolation”. And the first look at the CD was more than promising, as I just love the artwork for it. Daniel Corcuera did a brilliant job and I guess it is one of my favourite cover arts from the latest releases. The visual aspect of such releases is very important to me; you know, this is why I (or should I believe that we?) buy stuff… also to enjoy the artwork; otherwise we would be happy having just the soulless mp3’s. In case of Cruciamentum’s releases I must say that I really like their artworks and layouts. All are very detailed and so well sketched, by some of the best artists of nowadays, in case of “Engulfed in Desolation” by Chilean maniac, who also plays for Slaughtbbath!

But of corpse the music is always most important. Style wise, I have a feeling, like Cruciamentum has slightly developed on “Engulfed in Desolation” and while “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” was more or less just Incantation worship, then this newest MLP is slightly different. The influence from McEntee’s band is less dominating, although still present in few parts, but I think that mainly Cruciamentum took some evil spells from the likes of Morbid Angel, Immolation, Vital Remains, Bolt Thrower… just to say these few names. Already the first track is something what you wouldn’t find on the “Convocation…” material. “Fallen in Disease” is blasting with fury and massive brutality of the mentioned Immolation and Morbid Angel and I must say that Cruciamentum really slits the throats with the monolithic, heavy and bulldozing riffing. The pace is often fast as hell also and I don’t think that the band was blasting so much on their previous release. But I especially liked the final theme of this song, which is slower and more monumental, with some keyboards in the back of the wall of the riff. Arrghh, it truly sounds amazing. “Through Gates of Morpheus Realms” is again blasting with fury and hatred, creating a dismal atmosphere, but also releasing a lot of wrath and “Thrones Turned to Rust” begins with even faster motif, and really I can say that with the songs like these three, which I just mentioned, Cruciamentum has changed their style a lot. But of corpse it is still an old school death metal and one, which is of the highest quality, as even Vital Remains wouldn’t be ashamed to have a song like “Thrones Turned to Rust” on their album.

I must admit that the final song of this MCD is probably the finest piece of all and one, which perfectly shows the current style of Cruciamentum. “Unsanctified Temples” has everything what this British band should be known for… I mean it starts with really aggressive and fast part, which again will remind you the bands I mentioned above, but then at some point a more melodic theme appears and finally in the second part of this song the pace slows down drastically into amazingly atmospheric and heavy, doomy riff, what creates truly apocalyptic feeling. There are again some keyboards used and the whole track becomes truly eerie and dark, only to get more brutal and faster at the end. Yeah, “Unsanctified Temples” is just a superb song!

But as a whole “Engulfed in Desolation” gives me a small headache, as I cannot really say that I liked this material more than “Convocation of Crawling Chaos”. Hmm, both are truly exceptional and superb, but I guess I liked the atmosphere and the doomy feeling of the previous recording more, what doesn’t mean that I don’t like “Engulfed…”! Ha, I wish every band was as classy in this rotten death metal style as Cruciamentum are. Definitely I can say one thing – Cruciamentum has developed their style a lot since the demo. They became more technical, more tight and relentless, more brutal and faster. Also the production is more professional. I guess the best thing to do is just to enjoy both releases and bang the skull when listening to these colossal death metal beasts and just stop saying that this was better and that is not. Moaning is for pussies, so fuck that… Cruciamentum slays and that’s the most important fact! Hail!
Standout track: “Unsanctified Temples”

Listen and pray in your unsanctified temple - 85%

ultraviolet, June 11th, 2012

With this and that, we somehow forgot the death metal we loved in the old times, especially the one coming from the States. The old bands at some point lost their track (call me Morbid Angel i.e.) and the new ones spend their creativity between super-technical approaches and groove or blatant hardcore mixtures.

I don’t know if it’s some kind of irony that those who come to save the game (partly at least) are four men from England, under the name Cruciamentum. Uniting their forces with those of mighty Hellenic label Nuclear Winter and after introducing themselves to us with the 3-year ago “Convocation…” demo (also re-released recently in CD/LP by NW), the British here deposit on the most refreshing views for contemporary death metal. More specifically, they endorse double guitar attacks while renouncing any kind of so-called groove (to be exact, they demand the listener’s attention to the constant changes of rhythm) and build their tracks around a basis of an inexorable atomosphere, similar to the one created once upon a time by Azag-thoth and his mates.

With “Unsactified Temples” closing the record in grandeur, the major thing one realizes, is that the almost 25 minutes of “Engulfed In Desolation” are too short time. Luckily for us, the band looks on fire so we can expect their next offering soon enough. Until then, press “repeat” and AGHIOS O DIAOLOS!

Originally written for:

Unpolished Grotesqueries Of Lamenting Desolation - 90%

thrashtidote, April 26th, 2012

Lately, there's been a constantly-infecting assault of '90s death metal, and one band to emerge from the the rotting sewers of the old school stench is Cruciamentum, one of the most grotesque. Crawling from bottomless pits of old school DM, Cruciamentum hail from the UK, a country which once gave birth to immense death metal monstrosities Bolt Thrower and Benediction. Cruciamentum strike with absolute energy and the constant companion of OSDM rot, following the energy like a shadow. This is not the prelude of something that was not witnessed before, but it's one thing to be definitely excited about because amongst tens of thousands of new '90s- worshiping bands that flow like rivers of decay, Cruciamentum stand out with their elaborate song architecture, cryptic dynamism, and unending current of turbulent death metal that no doubt evokes ghastly nostalgia in the mind of an OSDM fanboy.

The music, when explored with deep precaution, will display all of its colours that come in a vast variety and contrast to the opposition of simplistic OSDM brutes that emphasize on a single direction in the perplexing inventory of the yet-to-be-perfected art of OSDM. Cruciamentum no doubt borrow more than a few influences from their archaic forefathers. In fact, the band has actually taken aspects from slightly differing bands, thus they have churned all these different styles together to produce a rancid OSDM ep. There is definitely some Bolt Thrower and Benediction worshiping here, and I'm quite content to see that the band has followed a similar path to their fellow countrymen and forefathers in contrast to bands who show no influences of their national sound and simply worship the already pervasive styles which have been repeatedly done before. Besides the British masters, there is an indulgent sound of Swedeath, taken to add groove and purvey the dark, somber atmosphere. The tremolo pickings are granted a rich, fat tone, evoking an Incantation sound. Simultaneously streaming guitars sometimes change paths and harmonize in order to attain the same bludgeoningly-evil Incantation sound. I have enjoyed the band's tendency of mixing all these grotesque stylings all together and churning them with some additional features, but the ep offers even more.

The atmosphere is a crucial factor in evoking the rancid OSDM nostalgia and frankly the riffage on ''Engulfed In Desolation'' have all blended well with the un-polished production quality to create a bloodcurdling atmosphere, aided with heaps of ambiance spawned from the blustering assault of the riffs. The drums also have a settled sound, dense but still very audible and of course fitting the music well. The eight minute diabolical finale, ''Unsanctified Temples'', is one song not to be messed with. While all the other tracks blast out vigorously and spray epidemic with turbulent incursions, this track is olden with disease. Indeed, it is yet another exhibition of a common trait in OSDM-doom. With eight minutes packed with doom-laden passages and sickeningly eerie dirges, ''Unsanctified Temples'' is a riff medley, producing riffs that have been borrowed from typical suspects like Autopsy, Fleshcrawl, or Incantation. Overwhelming atmosphere of enormous density that gives little space for a listener to breathe is what this song's all about.

Even though I have enjoyed the riffs on a healthy amount of OSDM bands, I feel Cruciamentum made a major difference alongside Horrendous, Morbus Chron, Miasmal, and Ignivomous. How these guys put all the great attributes of '90s death metal amazed me, and an ep is just the start. Every tracks has the rotting stench of old school in its veins, and the atmosphere guarantees you that everything is perfectly unpolished and macabre. My final request from Cruciamentum would be to make a full-length and quick because just four tracks at a mere twenty-five minutes will certainly not suffice. When it comes to OSDM, I'm like a vampire with voracious thirst, and if these Brits don't come up with a debut album soon, my thirst will be redeemed with their blood. Hurry up, time is short.

Fallen In Disease
Thrones Turned To Rust
Unsanctified Temples

Rating: 90.5%

Not just 'death' metal, but DEATH metal - 87%

autothrall, December 24th, 2011

England's Cruciamentum are by far one of the better bands to emerge plagued and bloodied from that infectious time tunnel of 90s death metal, their 2009 demo Convocation of Crawling Chaos impressive in its ability to merge actual song structures with the meticulous worship of influences like Incantation, Bolt Thrower and Entombed, sans devolving into a dull, direct knockoff. Thus, I was pretty eager to hear what they could come up with next, and I've not the slightest inkling of disappointment with their subsequent EP Engulfed in Desolation. If anything, this only solidifies the band's potential to be the 'next big thing' in primal brutality, for it isn't just some stupid palette of derivative and uninteresting down-tuned drudgery dowsed in reverb to sound like it was born in a cavern with no actual riffs of worth in sight.

No, this is well written, dynamic death metal which is likely to thrill long-term advocates of the authentic nostalgia they hold so dear. What's more, the production standards are quite tight. Potent, clean guitars felt in the gut during the slower chugging sequences, but entirely capable of picking up the pace without losing any of their clarity, and the tone itself is not so polished that the music could ever feel sterile or plastic. Ominous, guttural vocals of the Incantation school, which, while not exactly original, are effectively menacing as they alternate between echoed, sparser passages and a more percussive, hostile meter. The drums here are also quite versed and flexible, with a lot of thundering warlike fills and steadier rhythms that feel as if they were built of the mud, blood and brick that confine corpses to the band's lyrical catacombs. However, by far the 'star' of this show must be the lead sequences, like that of "Thrones Turned to Rust" which is diabolically fleeting as it caresses the grimy substrate of the evil riff below.

Ultimately, you will hands down want to own this EP if you've been following closely this latest crop of nostalgic death metal acts arising from both sides of the pond. Regardless of whether you are more interested in the elder Swedish and Finnish tones being wrought by acts like Miasmal, or the direct Incantation lineage to the sounds of Disma, Vasaeleth and so forth, there is something here for you. Engulfed in Desolation is not flawless in its ratio of unforgettable riffing, perhaps, but the fact that it so effortlessly marries the libations to its influences with a strong, competitive studio sound should see it spurred forward in accreditation. Most importantly, these Englishmen have not forgotten that ages old, seemingly abandoned concept that death metal, like any other sub-genre, is first and foremost about the songs; that leaden, bludgeoning brutality is nothing without skilled pilots at the helm, and Cruciamentum have earned their licenses.


Ripping Your Legs Off, Then Sticking Around - 85%

HeySharpshooter, December 16th, 2011

It has finally come.

There has not been a bigger hype train in, um, obscure old school death metal than the one moving England's Cruciamentum. The Convocation of Crawling Choas demo made serious waves in 2009, as the bands suffocating, Incantation-esque death metal fit perfectly with what was hot in death metal at the time. But on this years split with Vasaeleth(which I reviewed previously), one could hear a not too subtle stylistic change, and not just in the vocals: there was a greater sense of groove and several chuggier riffs that to my ears sounded like Bolt Thrower.

Engulfed In Desolation continues that sound, with four tracks of rock solid old school death metal that evokes the masters of New York death metal as well as Crucimentum's fellow Brits Bolt Thrower. You know the drill then: tons of skull caving riffs, liberal use of insane blast-beats, and a bass sound that quite literally moves you. Crucimentum are some of the finest riff smiths out there right now, and just picking one brilliant riff on Engulfed in Desolation is a Herculean effort.

It is a tad unfortunate that Crucimentum feel the need to hammer those riffs into your skull long after it has already been pulverized to mush however. If Engulfed in Desolation is not without sin: these songs are seriously too long. It is not a surprise that the best song on the album, "Thrones Turned To Rust," is also by far the shortest. Cruciamentum do not make dozens of riffs: they make five to seven utterly perfect ones, then abuse your face with them. The problem is, when the songs are in excess of six minutes long, you get diminishing returns. The final track, "Unsanctified Temples," is a whopping eight minutes long, and I wish I could say that it needed to be. In truth, most of it is made up of repeated riffs in an effort to create atmosphere, when Engulfed in Desolation is at it's best when cutting the shit and ripping your arms off. This album is a nuclear bomb trying to act as a tranquilizer dart at times, and it just doesn't work.

But when Engulfed in Desolation goes for the throat, it works. Cruciamentum are a band with a lot to offer, who had a lot of success very early, and are still trying to find their sound. I am in love with the fact that the band take less from Incantation with this album, and when the riffs are working they work. All this band needs is time, experience, and a little bit of self-editing to reach song-writing Nirvana. They are pretty close as it is.

Rating: 8.5/10