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Cenotaph - Epic Rites (9 Epic Tales and Death Rites) (Reissue) Award winner

Epic Rites (9 Epic Tales and Death Rites) (Reissue)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 08 November 2019, 7:35 AM

When the 80’s were finished, Glam Metal, Thrash Metal and traditional Heavy Metal were starting to feel the initial shocks caused by Grunge Rock/Alternative Rock invasion in the USA. The popularity of these genres started to fade, and in the underground, Death Metal was coming back to evidence after years of silence. And it’s not a surprise to see that Mexico (a strong Metal scene in Latin America) have a Death Metal act as CENOTAPH. And with the reissue of their third album, “Epic Rites (9 Epic Tales and Death Rites)”, the fans of extreme Metal can understand clearly the potential of the band.

Released originally on 1996, this album could set the band alongside with IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILLITY as pioneers of Melodic Death Metal, because the traditional Heavy Metal melodies can be heard on the guitars, and the instrumental work of the band is really very good, as the vocals uses different tunes, not the usual low grunts from those days. No, it’s not a sacrilege to say that these guys could be said as Melodic Death Metal pioneers, and time does not lie. And their work is really incredible for 1996.

Unfortunately, as usual on Latin American releases on those days, the sound quality of the album isn’t the best they could have, for its raw and sounds “hollow” in some moments. Arturo Tuti Perales did what he could as producer. If the reader is from USA and Europe, maybe these words couldn’t make sense, but good studios (with latest recording technological devices) and know-how to build a good sonority were extremely expensive during the 90’s for Latin American bands. It’s not a waste, but could be better.

“Crying Frost” with its brutal insight and good work on guitars (great riffs and charming melodies during the solos), the bitter parts of “Lord Ends”, the slow tempos and bittersweet melodies of “Navegate” and “As the Darkness Born” (very good rhythmic work from bass guitar and drums on both songs), the catchy musical arrangements of “Dethroned Empire”, and the introspective melodies of the bonus song “Thorns of Fog” (very good vocals) will make the listener thinks “why in the blazes these guys didn’t grew?”, and let this writer answer: things on Latin America are really complicated…

Besides all these facts, “Epic Rites (9 Epic Tales and Death Rites)” really deserved this new reissue. But as CENOTAPH is active, the things already improved, it’s time to take the world by a Death Metal assault!

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Crying Frost
3. Lord Ends
4. Navegate
5. Towards the Umbra
6. As the Darness Borns
7. Angered Tongues
8. Epic Rites
9. Dethroned Empire
10. Thorns of Fog (Bonus Track)
Edgardo González - Vocals
Julio Viterbo - Guitars
Oscar Clorio - Drums
Record Label: Chaos Records


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