Review Summary: Is it lawful to 5 an EP?
To be straightforward, as my current mood suggest, this review is extremely pretentious; however, not without justifiable cause. When you find every element you know and love about sound, merged into one flawless piece of art, it's hard not to sound like a happy little school boy in heat. All jokes aside, "Engulfed In Desolation" is one serious album, ok I couldn't help myself.
There are obviously many forms of Death Metal available. Even amongst the different forms are subsidiary forms. Amongst OSDM you have the "techy" Demilich's, the heavy Immolation and Bolt Thrower's, the groovy Dismember’s, and many more elements. After a certain amount of time, being exposed to all of Death Metal's best acts, you will begin to formulate your likes and dislikes; your needs and wants. Being that we're all humans, at least I hope we all are, our opinions will differ; but in my opinion this album has everything I could possibly want in a Death Metal album. Perfect riffs: mostly tremolos with proper drawn out lengths, fusing chugs, occasional higher octave harmonies, but always favoring the darker heavy side. Orgasm inducing drums: staying one step ahead of the predictable norm, using well placed fills, and showcasing impeccable rhythm on the rides and cymbals. Frightening, guttural low toned growls: appearing in perfectly well placed fields, always enhancing the already set atmosphere that shines through due to perfect production; which favors an even balance of crusty vs. clear.
Although "Engulfed In Desolation" will not strike you as being anything new in the death metal scene, it did however grab my attention; being at how well the "puzzle pieces" were put together. This solid EP, giving a dense 24 minutes of playing time, takes the listener through 3 solid skull crushing tracks and ends with an 8 minute epic closer. The impavid "Unsanctified Temples" shows Cruciamentum's greatest performance to date. I highly recommend you stare at the album cover whilst listening to this track as you will really feel the what the creative minds behinds this album were trying to convey.
This is only rumor, but I heard Cruciamentum started with the album artwork first. They then "blew" the album art up into poster fashion. When they came together to write music for this EP they would always have the artwork in front of them; allowing them to have a unified visual goal, being what "Engulfed In Desolation" should sound like. I feel they've nailed this endeavor with dark sludgy alternating riffs to desperate heart pumping tempos. The visual aspect, achieved through sound, only testifies to advanced planning in this innovative one-minded technique.
With two solid demos, one split, and one azimuth-reaching EP, Cruciamentum have the formula to wet pallets of numerous Death Metal consumers. This catalogue can only make one so eager as to find what Cruciamentum has in store for future releases, hinting the epic closure to be a fore gleam into greater things to come. So yes, it is lawful to rate an EP a 5, as long his/her subjective taste' can justify.