Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2022
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Mid-paced and crushing. - 72%

ConorFynes, August 20th, 2016

I don't think there's so wide a divide between the old school and modern in a genre as there is with death metal. A style of music wouldn't last a year if there wasn't some manner of evolution at work, but in the case of death metal, the modern death metal template serves to undercut what made the genre so good in years past. As curmudgeonly as that sounds, there isn't a ton of modern-sounding DM out there to help change my mind.

Fortunately, there has been no shortage of solid traditional death metal releases for those who know where to look. Desecresy is one such band, coming up amid an already-saturated Finnish scene and casting a lasting impression all the same. My quick towards these guys is in no small part due to their likeness to Bolt Thrower. To those versed in the Finnish death scene, this may not come as a surprise; the band Desecresy was born from, Slugathor, baked their bread from a similarly crushing mid-tempo, and earned much of that same comparison. For Desecresy's part in it, they've already made a bold contribution to the traditional revival on The Doom Skeptron in 2012. Those who got a chance to hear that one when it came out should know what to expect here, both in terms of style and quality.

For those who haven't heard Desecresy before, expect crushing riffs, a controlled rhythm section, angular lead melodies and a prevalent doom metal influence. While the songcraft is arguably more predictable on Stoic Death than it was circa The Doom Skeptron, it is interesting that Desecresy can hold true to the same style for years and still manage to create engaging songs. Like Bolt Thrower, part of the success here stems from the fact that their formula itself is so solid. The slower pace allows their riffs time to breathe. Unlike even many of their tradition-based contemporaries, Desecresy don't try to sonically overwhelm a listener with activity. Rather, the simple, eerie leads the band like to layer the riffs with enrich the music with atmosphere purely because they're not trying to compete for disc time.

The riffs on Stoic Death are solid across the board, especially when they're combined with the atmospheric leads. Where the album begins to falter is the production itself, which feels muddy and somewhat toneless, even in a genre that usually encourages those things. As a result, Jarno Nurmi's vocals are hard to tell completely apart from the riffs, which chug away, eating up most of the sound in the recording. The only thing that manages to escape the murk are the lead textures, which may account for why they seem so effective on the album. It is to Desecresy's credit that they limited Stoic Death at little more than half an hour in length. It's a solid effort from cover to cover, but their singular focus to their formula may have grow tired if it marched much further on. I wouldn't say it's the would-be classic that The Doom Skeptron was some years back, but there's no doubting these guys have the classic death formula nailed down to a science.

Originally written for Heathen Harvest Periodical

..riffs seemed to..morph depending on the angle... - 90%

iamntbatman, June 25th, 2016

The most important aspect of Stoic Death (well, apart from it just kicking the shit out of anything and everything around it) is that it actually feels like a step in a somewhat new direction. The previous album contained a whopping fourteen tracks of what sounded like late-period Slugathor throwaways, which meant that it sounded good but couldn't quite hold a candle to the greatness that TImmo achieved with that band on their more fully realized albums. While this most recent Desecresy album isn't exactly a huge departure from the sort of lumbering, groovy, dark-as-night Bolt Throwerish death metal that Tommi has perfected, the songs here feel much more complete and purposeful, the entire album working together in a more comprehensive way than before.

All of the traditional Slugathor/Desecresy elements are in place: gravel pit vocals, gigantic bottom-heavy guitars playing rolling, twisting swamp riffs, lumbering drums, eerie wailing guitar leads. That last part is vital to the album's success, too; Tommi opted to use lead guitar much more liberally this time around, bringing back a lot of vital melodic depth to the music that was sadly missing from much of Chasmic Transcendence. The guitar tone on the lead lines is more ethereal, too, fixing the dryness that made the leads sound too human-generated before. The songs are a bit longer this time as well. Not quite the seven-minute Slugathor tunes of old but back to the 4-5 minute comfort zone the band worked well in before rather than the 2-3 minute tracks that felt underdeveloped last time.

The most vital change, though, is a subtle but important change to the songwriting. It's perhaps most directly noticeable in the drums, which feature a lot of jerky rhythms and short bursts of blasting injected in small amounts into slower drum patterns. These off-kilter rhythms flow over into the riffing as well - while on the surface the guitars are still playing the same snaking, oozing "Bolt Thrower gone occult" riffs Tommi can't help but pen, the odd drumming forces the guitars to play along, adding more stop-start staccato riffs than we've seen before, a tendency that carries over even when the drums step back more into standard Desecresy territory.

The production's also a lot dirtier and more garage-sounding, the playing looser than last time, which is more in line with the earlier Desecresy material. In combination with the eccentric drum and riff patterns, it's as though the band had written a regular Desecresy album, but on the way to the studio were overcome with sheer madness, ingested large quantities of psychotropic drugs and instead decided to go record the thing in a single take (well, were that possible in a two-man band where one guy handles all of the instrumentation) in some filthy half-ruined chemical factory being slowly torn apart by the ever-encroaching forest exacting its revenge upon progress' bloated corpse.

So, while every single Desecresy album has been some level of "good" at least, I will gladly support this new, refreshing direction toward slight madness and a more organic, off-the-cuff approach rather than the half-finished Slugathorisms of the previous album. Plus, the riffs still kill and the melodies are back on track, so my faith in the band to keep my interest levels high has been fairly thoroughly restored by Stoic Death.