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Entwined In Sepulchral Darkness (Split EP)

Iron Bonehead Productions / Impious Desecration (2014)
Rating: 7/10

This is a four-track split project featuring two French bands that may not be familiar to you all; Cadaveric Fumes and Demonic Oath.

Cadaveric Fumes are an outfit who formed in 2011 and features vocalist Romain Gibet, guitarist Wenceslas Carrieu, bassist Reuben Muntrand and drummer Léo Brard. This split follows on from their 2012 demo Macabre Exaltation and the two tracks on offer here – ‘Aeon Of Scorn’ and ‘Dreadful Remembrance’ – exude a fusty old school death metal air.

The echo of the vocals – particularly on ‘Aeon Of Scorn’ – reminds one of old, cold Darkthrone while the music slips between a mid-paced grey churn and faster flecks of mouldiness. Indeed, this could well have been recorded back in 1990 such is its foetid nature. It’s extremely catchy too, with the vocals acting as an arrogant growl above the morbid frenzy of instrumentation.

‘Dreadful Remembrance’ is the far greater of the two evils however, speeding into the ears like an out of control bulldozer and offering up some truly ghastly vocal sneers amidst a barrage of wild guitar flicks and percussive abrasions. The morbid melody makes itself known again though, bringing a truly morose and lingering murk to proceedings.

Demonic Oath is a one-man death metal project; the brainchild of D., who formed this sound of ghastly horror back in 2012, releasing The Crypt Of Mournful Summoning in the same year. With ‘Soul Redeeming Carrion Rite’ and ‘Sacrilegious Invocation’ we’re once again treated to a slab of old fashioned, festering metal from the dank crypts of Hell, relying on those lo-fi vocal growls and an infectious quality in that dense, grating guitar tone.

Although lacking originality (but then again, originality is hardly something I’ve come to expect since the initial waves in the 80s and early 90s), this is still an artist evoking stained images of the metal underground from days of yore when death metal successfully applied sinister slowness, mouldy melody and direct ferocity. Both offerings has all that and more, the result being a fine brace of death metal tunes to complete an admirable split project involving two bands worth keeping an eye on.

Neil Arnold

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