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Surprisingly great - 90%

Mailman__, March 24th, 2019

One of the latest offerings in the realm of doom/death metal is Onirophagus’ “Endarkenment (Illumination Through Putrefaction)”. This genre has never quite been my cup of tea. Looking at this album, it only has four songs, but they’re all between 10 and 22 minutes long. It’s intimidating.

We start with “Dysthanasia”, a song that begins with a nice, groovy riff. It’s one of those predictable riffs that sounds awesome despite its predictability. Throughout the song, we get a taste of what’s to come: heavy riffage, well-placed leads, well-structured songs and well-executed interludes.

This album is very different. I’m used to modern doom/death metal being slow, consisting of simplistic riffs that last for around 14 minutes. What Onirophagus have created with “Endarkenment (Illumination Through Putrefaction)” is like traditional doom metal with melody and more creativity. It’s a very diverse take on the sound, incorporating acoustic and clean guitar and playing with song structures outside of the normal “repeat a few riffs over and over”.

As I mentioned, they incorporate doom metal’s roots on this album, which means that the riffs are extra sweet. “Dark River” is full to the brim with interesting riffs and leads. It’s evil and it picks up the pace when it needs to. With an interlude that causes chills, this song is a definite highlight.

In four tracks, this band captures the listener in a sound of doom, and I truly mean doom. The atmosphere created by this album stays true to not only its genre but the album title itself. “Endarkenment” is the longest song on the album and features an interlude of dark choral ambience and acoustic guitars that, as the last track, rounds off the entire album with darkness.

One aspect of Onirophagus’ music that stands out is their use of layers. They don’t stick just to heavy, slow riffs. They go beyond and add leads and acoustic sections. They add interludes to soften the music, and they recover from them smoothly too. “Book of the Half Men” features nice layers with its slow opening riff. After a while, they introduce clean guitar in the background, making it sound even more sinister.

“Book of the Half Men” features a riff that features all three guitarists playing different parts. One is playing rhythm, riffing out some heavy doom. One s plating the leads, and the other is playing on the clean channel, I believe. This is pretty technical for a doom/death metal outlet, and it’s certainly impressive. This is just one example of the versatile musicianship on this album.

The drummer deserves a shout out for his versatility. The drum fills are fast and make the music pummeling. He doesn’t stick to simple beats, but he instead compliments the music in the best ways. “Dark River” has several good examples of this.

The second album from Onirophagus is dark and evil, with a great use of three guitarists. This has to be the best modern doom/death metal album I have ever heard. There is a lot going on with this album, and it’s hard to fit everything into one review. “Endarkenment (Illumination Through Putrefaction)” is truly an experience.

Overall Rating: 90%

originally written for metal-temple.com