Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dead Congregation - Promulgation of the Fall

Once again we have a band that is labeled old school death metal, which seems to be a popular term these days. As I said in a previous review the term usually doesn't add up. In the case of Greece's Dead Congregation we have a band that truly lives up to the definition of the term. The twist with Dead Congregation is that they put a slight modern take on it to make this an extremely interesting and killer band. Their second full length release, Promulgation of the Fall, is proof that this band can truly live up to the hype. Their first full length, Graves of the Archangels, received tons of praise by fans of death metal and critics alike and it seems that this band is not slowing down.

What we have here is riff laden death metal that slays at every turn. The riffs are heavy and pounding. "Only Ashes Remain," is the perfect album opener as the opening riff just pounds you into submission. The vocals are low and guttural and sound fucking evil...just what I want in my death metal. The solos on this song, as well as the rest of the album, are killer with just enough technicality to make them interesting but not pretentious. The speed of the song varies from just thrashing at first to a more doomy sort of riff in the middle of the song. This song leads right into the title track that has an almost psychedelic feedback sound in the beginning. This leads into more heavy doom riffing that sounds like pure evil. They even throw some tremolos in there for a deeper dynamic. The song almost comes off as an interlude as "Serpentskin" comes in and kicks your ass at breakneck speed. Monstrous blast beats and crushing riffs is what this song is about until the halfway point where they just go balls out doom with heavy as fuck downtuned riffs. Being my first experience with this band, I am most impressed with the variety of sounds displayed here.

The production on this album is old school without that modern compression sound that can sometimes make or break a recording. This actually sounds like a mixture of the Florida and Swedish scene from the early 90s. It seems that this band takes from each scene but refines it enough to make it their own. As far as the slower parts they throw in, it seems to work for these songs like they way they add them in on "Immaculate Poison," even though most of that song has neck breaking speed and massive riffs. "Nigredo" is the same way, killer riffing and plenty of speed slowing down only towards the build up at the end leading to what is my favorite song on the album, "Schisma." This is almost seven and a half minutes of sheer brutality but with an epic twist at the same time. Twenty years from now when people talk about classic death metal songs, this one will be one of them. Huge riffs and a huge sound from this diverse and monstrous song. The slow parts are, once again, heavy as fuck and the fast parts are just riff laden. "From a Wretched Womb" closes out the album with more speed and riffs from beginning to end with just plain evil sounding leads and massive solos that almost sound like early Slayer.

As I said, this is my first experience with this band and I'm immediately a fan. This album is how death metal should be done...period. Every song on this album is done with precision and pure talent due to great songwriting and musicians that are professionals in their craft. Anyone who thinks that OSDM is just four letters that do not mean anything need to get this album....quick! This is essential.


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