Genre: Death Metal
Label: Martyrdoom Productions/Profound Lore/Norma Evangelium Diaboli
It’s been six years since that night when I stepped into Sin City club to watch my beloved PRIMORDIAL and the shock from the juggernaut sound coming out of the speakers as I entered the basement is still fresh in memory. Yes, DEAD CONGREGATION, with “Graves Of The Archangels” having just been released at the time, were opening their set and this was my first contact with them. During this six-year period, the bonds between me and this sonic monster gradually developed and became strengthened, trips abroad were planned in order to watch them playing live and the waiting for the successor of one of the most important records for 00s death metal became more and more intensive.
So be it! As soon as the first two drum hits are heard in the opening track “Only Ashes Remain” and the first wave of mud is unleashed, it is obvious that no compromises are welcome here. Two minutes pass and the phrase “yes, this is the death metal we adore” floats in mind. But no, this not just it, this is much more, as unexpected, twisted guitar leads continuously paint the songs in colors that reek of grave odors. This is the pattern of “Promulgation Of The Fall”, which means… there is no pattern! Crawling, pitch-black funeral doom passages (how haunting are the title-track and mid-part of “Serpentskin”!) follow raw gallops of the guitars and blastbeats alternate with some of the most substantial solos we have recently heard among metal as a whole. Without noticing it, a quarter is almost gone and one realizes that in fact the first three tracks is essentially a unity, a FULL story. Murk, gloom, abyss…
When expectations for the creation of someone you admire, are not only fulfilled but surpassed in such a degree where you feel somewhat guilty for not doing justice to the band by underestimating what they can achieve, then it’s needless to say much. And what can anyone say about this masterpiece? Argue about the record being simultaneously old-school (in the purest of manners) and yet truly progressive with the constant changes of emotions and moods it encloses? Mention details such as that short techno-thrash riff somewhere around the 20th second of “Immaculate Poison” or describe the delirium arising from the orgiastic sequence of solos at its end? I believe it’s enough to point out the conclusion drawn around the end of “Schisma”, an OPUS that has come to battle head-to-head with the out-of-reach “Teeth Into Red” and during the seven minutes it lasts, simply… everything happens! And the conclusion is that while everything in here is familiar, nothing is the same because this is true Evolution. And I think there is no better symbolism for the above than the fact that while the fantastic cover art is drawn by a new artist (A. Lertas), Timo Ketola is still here, this time contributing to the (either way amazing) lyrics with those of “Nigredo” where my favorite quote of this album exists -“Ocean swallows ocean…”.
Those of you who love DEATH metal for the right reasons (that is because you find something special in this transcendental word and its transformation to sound) don’t need me or anyone to tell you that this subgenre has just acquired a new and everlasting gem. The only thing I can add is that if the successor to “Promulgation Of The Fall” is of such magnitude, then I accept to wait another six years for it. And then yet another six; just to complete the triad of the Sacred Number in order for the time to come when He will descend to Earth and sit on His throne…