In the gruesome clusterfu
ck of 'old school' death metal resurgence that has recently emerged in the late '00s into the early '10s it has become admittedly difficult at times for us mere mortal prospective listeners to differentiate between bands, let alone get any kind of real clue toward which of them are actually good. During a period when 'Incantation worship' seems destined to become a genre of its own, very few bands have been able to carve out any real kind of personality for themselves within the scene.
One such band that has risen amid the clamour of the regrettably dubbed "new wave of old school death metal" are English occult loving riff fiends Cruciamentum. Latin has long been renowned as being the most evil language and when a band's name means 'torment' in Latin its obvious they formed to sound out an unending dirge of triumphantly blasphemous riffs. All three of the songs on this demo or EP or whatever are bursting at the seams with riffs of distantly shimmering dread tastefully murked by gruff and gritty production. Opening tune "Deathless Ascension" is easily one of the best death metal tracks of the last five years; sliding into existence with slick hollow-snare fill, a bleak helltrem, and a beckoning rasp of simply "OOOooooooooghhhhh...", it truly sets the bar in a genre doomed to stagnate.
Cruciamentum's real talent though lies in their songwriting. Time and time again they lift the listener by the scruff of the neck with towering, dismal riffs and tireless blastbeats before hurling them over the edge into the measured torment of a doomed up skullcrushing session, such as the sing-a-long inducing 'DARKNESS PREVAILS' breakdown in "Deathless Ascension", or shortly following the frenzied begging for Nyarlathotep's blessing in the title-track, or the eerie gloomy outro following one last outburst of hellish chaos in "Rotten Flesh Crucifix"; their shrewd arrangements of killer riffs leaves little to be desired, never letting frivolous additions like samples or guitar solos get in the way of their carefully constructed obliteration.
Cruciamentum's perhaps conservative brand of death metal certainly won't have them remembered as originators or even innovators but it seems unfortunate that they might be forgotten in the morass of the genre, because these riffs truly deserve appreciation.