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Crucifixion - Desert Of Shattered Hopes

Desert Of Shattered Hopes
by Barry Valentine at 07 October 2020, 2:19 PM

Crucifixion is an old death metal band from my own backyard in Houston, Texas. The band formed back in 1990, and stayed together until 1998. The first time “Desert Of Shattered Hopes” was released was March 31st 1995, and also included their first released demo from 91 titled “A Cold Sea Of Horror”. The album production was low quality, but this allowed for the tight crunch of the guitars, pounding percussion, and howling vocals to really shine.

We start the album with the title track “Desert Of Shattered Hopes”. An all out assault on your ear drums with steadfast riffage, sweeping solos, and vicious vocals. A kickass song, and the solo is hair raising. I thought it was a good song, I wish the vocals stood out a little more, but definitely that old school death metal we grew up on. The next song is “Binding Of Dragons”, another all out heavily palm muted guitar section, and hammering double bass. A fast, hard and heavy song, with dark cryptic vocals that any death metal head will love. A band that really paved the way for Texas metal.

I’m going to skip to the forth track “Black Mourning”. Starts off with a fast guitar riff intro before joined by the drums, and vocals. The song gets that same speed throughout, and the guitarist dueling solos in the middle are badass. The vocals are on point, and the song was well performed. The next song “Remembering The Dead” was a short instrumental, and the vocals appeared to be something played backwards. It was a much different presentation from the band being a little softer, and slower. Not long enough to get a thundering applause, but I mention it cause it was kind of a cool change from the consistent hammering the preceded it.

Now the song immediately after titled “Sick Of The Shadows Of Reality” throws us right back into that rhythm we’ve been enjoying. Another speed driven guitar insanity with echoing dark vocals, and a breakdown going into the chorus was a nice change of speed. A dark solo, and the outro make this song even better. I’m going to jump ahead again to the eighth song “Tomorrow Is The End”. They also re released it on this album as the last song, but I think this is the best of the two. The sound quality is so much better, and guitars and vocals are so much clearer. Another great song, hard and heavy, and these guys are badass with their back and forth solos.

The last song I want to touch on is their first demo track “A Cold Sea Of Horror”. To me this is the best song on the album, as well as their longest at 7:23. The sound quality was the best of them all. The instruments were so clear and crisp, the vocals were the best and they really flowed well. The breakdown going into the solo, and the solo were well done. I really enjoyed the bass line at the end, and the final chorus was a great finish.

Overall I really enjoyed this album. The sound quality wasn’t great, but listening to this album reminds me of when I saw them play in Houston back in 1996. It took me right back to the mosh pit, and simpler times. These guys put in their dues, and It’s good to hear them again. This was death metal at its finest.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Musicianship: 9
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Desert Of Shattered Hopes
2. Binding Of Dragons
3. Home Of The Lonesome Wanderes
4. Black Mourning
5. Remembering The Dead
\[Intro]6. Sick Of The Shadows Of Reality
7. Descendants Thereafter
8. Tomorrow Is The End
9. Woods For The Suicides
10. A Cold Sea Of Horror
11. Home Of The Lonesome Wanderers
12. Trees Succumb
13. Screaming Fatality
14. Tomorrow Is The End
Puppet Cavazos - Drums
Mark Vargas - Guitars
Armando Mata - Guitars, Keyboards
Danny Martinez - Vocals, Bass
Record Label: La Caverna Records


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Edited 05 December 2022

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