Cruciamentum – Obsidian Refractions (Profound Lore)

Time moves fast.

Has it really been eight years since Cruciamentum unleashed Charnel Passages?

Born of the same underworld as Grave Miasma and Dead Congregation, the death metallers cemented their cult status with that astonishing debut.

Given the majesty of songs like Necrophagous Communion, it was no surprise that Cruciamentum’s absence was keenly felt.

Lips were licked as soon as the quartet announced they were spawning a new monster.

Certainly, Obsidian Refractions has plenty to live up to.

Cruciamentum storm back into the fray

Cruciamentum, in many ways, have picked up where they left off back in 2015 – the opening track even bears their debut album’s monicker. After the song descends into hell, less than two minutes in, the stench of blood and sulphur is all pervasive. It’s like they have never been away. Infernal dynamics and trident-like riffs mark this first assault as pure Cruciamentum. Darkness descends (very quickly).

The UK/US act have a collective CV that stretches across numerous microscenes – and their combined talents are put to good use across Obsidian Refractions.

Abhorrence Evangelium, for instance, flies up from the pits of Hades, all blistering pace and firestorm fretwork, but all Cruciamentum need to do is change the pace and you’re left chilled to the bone.

Scorn Manifestation, peppered with warped leadwork, sees the band employ similar tactics.

And across the album, they execute their work with real dexterity and creative flair…  

Texan drummer M.H. – appearing on his first Cruciamentum record – is a phenomenon. He both anchors his bandmates’ dense, contorting onslaught, and elevates it with a jaw dropping technical prowess. Check out his performance on Necropolis of Obsidian Mirrors for Exhibit A.

He’s not the only ‘newcomer’ in the line-up: only guitarist/keyboardist D.L. remains from the Charnel Passages sessions.

Yet Cruciamentum’s demonic DNA has remained intact.

Just listen to ten-minute closer Drowned. It violently drags you under, wrapping tentacles of pure horror around your heart.

After Drowned sinks into oblivion, Cruciamentum’s rebirth is complete.

A new chapter has been opened.

And they now have a world to conquer…