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Aenigmatum – Deconsecrate Award winner

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 08 August 2021, 7:09 AM

AENIGMATUM is a black/death metal band from the United States, specifically Portland, Oregon. They formed in 2017 and "Deconsecrate" is their second full length album. They have also released two demos. "Deconsecrate" is an album that has a lot going on in its 45 minute run time but that's a good thing.  This is an album that is definitely worth listening to many times not only so everything that was missed the first time can be found but just because it is so damn enjoyable.

It is a pleasure to hear an album that is focused on top notch musicianship but as equally focused on top notch songwriting.  The results of caring about not only how they are playing but what they are play is an album that blends in a lot of styles into an extreme mix. Within these eight tracks, a stellar production makes each one stand out even more. It has a rough, dirty grime over it…and works well for their sound and it supports the mix, which is stellar.

"Forged From Bedlam," is a furious track that is backed by truly interesting drumming and bass. The latter, at times, gives the song tinges of melody in a way that is hard for most bands of this type to capture. The guitars are full of surprises such as the melodies after the two minute mark that come in between more pervasive musical forces. "Disenthralled," is cold, dark and alien in the beginning.  A harrowing death scream changes the tunes atmosphere as the guitar gains intricacy.  At the height of action, the song is a beast of many layers but focused is one element the band is never short on. Even as it breaks you down, the song's craftsmanship leads you through the dimensions.

"Larker, Sanguine Phantom," reminds me of "Unholy Cult" era IMMOLATION with that stop and go tempo. The bass drop at the 39 second mark is sudden and wild as hell…a freight train to the face that you somehow didn't see coming. Near the three minute mark the band finds a kick ass groove. From here the drums absolutely destroy the song, a foundation that also moves with unstoppable destruction. 4:49 to the song's ending is one of the more uncompromising moments in death metal I've heard all year.

The final track "Animus Reflection" ends the album on a high note. I found this track exemplifies every aspect of the album that makes it so good in the first place. At 3:46 the band moves at light speed but that bass still stands out and just as it ends the guitars get their time to shine with a technical and dizzying display of melody. The song slows down near the end, letting the bleaker blackened elements take over with with nasty guitar tone.

AENIGMATUM's "Deconsecrate" is a brutal but interesting album. The more you listen to this album, the crazier it gets. It is technical but its mixture with black metal and osdm makes the technical aspects subtle. Listening to this is like your mind being slowly unraveled over time—and this is an album worth losing it for.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Forged from Bedlam
2. Undaunted Hereafter
3. Disenthralled
4. Fracturing Proclivity
5. Floods Within a Splintered
6. Larker, Sanguine Phantom
7. Despot of Amorphic Dominions
8. Animus Reflection
Brian Rush - Bass, Synths
Pierce Williams - Drums, Vocals (backing)
Eli Lundgren - Guitars
Kelly McLaughlin - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin


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