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Ctenizidae - ...Of Rotting Soil And Spine

...Of Rotting Soil And Spine
by Andrew Harvey at 28 October 2021, 2:30 PM

CTENIZIDAE are a black metal band from the USA who also take ambient raw blackened metal to the max quite literally speaking. It is not clear as to how long they have been together nor how many musicians are involved in this blackened metal band. What we do know is that they have released two demos in the last two years.

The band’s first demo titled XULGREM was released in 2018 as a limited release through Funeral Maelstrom. Their second demo was titled ENDLESS DECAY IN PUTRESCENT VOID released the year after in 2019 through the same record label as before. Now the band are back again with another demo titled ….OF ROTTING SOIL AND SPINE including a total of six tracks. This demo was released independently on bandcamp digitally, whereas the cassette was released through Death Hymns and the vinyl was released through Nebular Carcoma Records.

Firstly is the instrumental noise induced track titled “Collapsing Inward, A Repugnant Existence” making itself known for white noise, digitized feedback maybe and isn't long in duration lasting under 1 minute. Next up is “That Which Feeds Upon the Weakened Host” which isn’t too long either but takes the instrumental noise and combines with analog sounds of drums plus synthesized sounds.

Coming along next is “Shrine Of Necrophagia” which starts slightly differently but then continues the same way as the previous track. So no surprises really and seems very monotonous as well, the constant loop of metallic thrashing and ambient soundscape. So onto the next track is “Liquefaction Seeps From Hidden Reaches Of Decrepit Void” with pulsating guitar and mesmerizing drumming or perhaps sampled drums with a black metal twist.

Following on are “Evil Crawls From The Sinew Of A Decapitated Limbs” is the continuity of black metal crashing thrash and being injected with the usual instrumental loop. Almost sounds like a mechanical machine working away with gear noises or surrounding the sound field in the mid range frequency region. There is little room for pauses or longer silence, the empty space is filled in.

“Thickening Of The Abyss” finished this compilation of demos with very much what we heard before already. The production and musicality is very specific and thorough as well. Probably less musical and more sonic based and technically laid out with short pauses in between. Overall I would not be madly keen on the band’s demo as I felt there is too much focus on the technical side and the absence of vocals aside from the fact the demos are so repetitive.

In comparison to their previous demos there is little to contemplate and less variations in the sound but it is possible that most of what we hear is programmed. So unless you do enjoy hearing the black metal sound like this and don’t mind repetitive cycles of metallic collisions then this demo compilation may not be what you expect.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Collapsing Inward, A Repugnant Existence
2. That Which Feeds Upon The Weakened Host
3. Shrine Of Necrophagia
4. Liquefaction Seeps From Hidden Reaches Of Decrepit Void
5. Evil Crawls From The Sinew Of Decapitated Limbs
6. Thickening Of The Abyss
Record Label: Nebular Carcoma


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Edited 03 October 2022

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