Even as it gets warmer here in the United States and pleasant weather has retuned, it can’t truly obscure all of the pain and misery that still surrounds us and the torment that lives in the psyches of so many. It’s harrowing and depressing, almost like ashes are constantly on the air, coating our lungs with blackness, making it feel impossible to move forward.
Fittingly, UK death-doom crushers Consecration named their third record “Cinis,” taken from the Latin term for “cold ashes” and constantly intertwining itself with death. It’s a fitting title for this nine-track, 58-minute monster that drags you through the darkest elements of life and makes you confront every downfall. The band—vocalist Daniel Bollans, guitarists Liam Houseago and Andy Matthews, bassist Shane Amies, drummer Jorge Figueiredo—comes on like a million earths piled upon your chest, squeezing every bit of oxygen from you, making it feel like a hopeless cause. The band also is joined by Benediction frontman Dave Ingram on a special guest vocal spot, and the sound production was handed over to the mighty Greg Chandler (Esoteric, Lychgate), who presents this band in its dankest light.
“The Dweller in the Tumulus” is the 8:20-long opener, the playing chugging as Bollans’ growls crawl menacingly toward you. The haze continues to build and oppress as the growls carve into flesh, and cavernous playing makes the pain seem even more spacious. Guitars then take off and scorch as the playing blasts to a volatile finish. “Ground to Ashes (A Cremulation)” mauls as the growls bleed, and evil cackling eats away at your wounds. The pace catches fire as the playing mashes digits, the leads blare, and the wrenching growls add more pressure and make submission the only means of survival. “Embrace of Perpetual Mourning” is the longest track, running 11:01 and beginning with clean guitars washing over everything. Sorrow wells up heavily as whispered growls plod, and ominous melody mixes with a collecting blood pool at your feet. Calculated riffs let the slow burn feel even stronger, the melodies cascade, and the power levels, leaving everything in dust. “A Dying Wish” is a brief interlude with glimmering guitars and floating energy that hovers above your head.
“These Fleeting Memories” is a 9:20-long pounder that starts with growls engulfing and the guitars boiling, slowly blazing a path. The guttural pace leans into the shadows, then melody floods as the soloing ignites, smearing blood over the surface of the earth. Finally, a dose of aggression is doled out as the playing blisters viciously, the vocals going for your guts. “The Charnel House” brings snarling guitars and fast, crunchy playing, letting the fires develop. Grime and death metal savagery combine as the viciousness multiplies and leaves everything in ashes. “A Sentient Haunting” delivers moody guitars and an attack that drubs with precision and muscle, the skies melting around you. Psyche strangeness and stabbing power become one, the guitars light up dangerously, and everything hulks to a depressing finish. “Unto the Earth Bethralled” is a hefty 9:22 and punches its way in, the grisly vocals adding a deep dose of corrosion. The track trudges heavily as it slips into colder waters and thick haze, mystical strangeness flooding and threatening. Growls mar as the playing picks up the pace, everything wrenching your blood and bones mercilessly. “In Loving Abandonment” is a closing instrumental track that lets clean guitars tangle, letting delicate darkness leave their fingerprints behind.
Consecration’s stranglehold on death-flavored doom flows over the rim on “Cinis,” their masterfully crafted third record. This is one of those experiences where you feel every bit of these 58 minutes because it’s impossible to avoid the pressure and intensity of this attack that reminds you that you aren’t well in body and spirit. This is arguably their finest record yet, a planet colliding with planet and leaving nothing but pain, misery, and inescapable trauma behind.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Consecration666
To buy the album (North America), go here: https://redefiningdarknessrecords.limitedrun.com/
For more on the label go, here: http://www.redefiningdarkness.com/