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Haunted Cenotaph - Abyssal Menace

Haunted Cenotaph
Abyssal Menace
by Laura Glover at 01 February 2021, 7:03 AM

Named after a monument made to commemorate people who were lost; HAUNTED CENOTAPH, a newer player in the genre of morbid doom metal, released their first full-length album on October 1, 2020. The Polish metalers joined forces in 2018 and promptly released a demo, followed a year later by an EP. Clearly, HAUNTED CENOTAPH takes heavy influences from earlier 90’s era death metal, a much beloved era to music. Isn’t it funny how when you are living in a decade, you never know until later that was one of those monumental eras in time until looking back? “Abyssal Menace” is nuanced with simplistic death metal chords and complete lack of clean vocals, culminating a sound intrinsic to the afore mentioned decade. While many pieces of this album work very well together, I digress, the reverb on the vocals muddies the sound and is off putting. Let’s discuss.

The Music of Erich Zann” - This delightful little piece comes in at just over a minute long, an intro song. However, I chose to mention it because it is a powerful piece of music. There is an atmospheric vibe to it amidst the instrumental and entrancing waves. “Cursed Abomination” - I absolutely love the guitar in this song! It is powerful and captivating. The guitar is the shining beacon of hellfire's to this doom's darkness. But then the vocals come in. Whereas, by themselves the vocals are not bad. As I mentioned, the reverb is off putting, with littered screams, the sound muddies out the quality of the song throughout.

Rotten Existence” - Dark and slow riffs set the stage of doom and despair, drum timed with the lead guitar, seasoning it with perfection. I am very much in awe still of the instrumental prowess of this album. The vocals in this song, the heavy echo's make it sound as if there could be more than one voice and the effect isn’t stellar. I very much feel that if the reverb were eliminated the vocalist would be much better as the issue isn’t that he has a bad voice, actually he has quite a powerful voice fully fitting for the 90’s sound they were aiming for. Also, the screams peppered throughout the song grate on you a bit when echoed like that. “Abyssal Menace” - Comes in hot with a slow, heavy, marching kind of beat. However, the musical magic is quickly completely covered by the vocals. As in, the volume on the vocals is louder than the music maybe? Which overtakes the musical part immensely. With such great production on the rest of the album I am not sure what the band was aiming for with this effect.

In conclusion, I am not by any means saying someone else might not like the vocalist style in “Abyssal Menace”. Everyone has such different tastes worldwide, and I merely write here from my own opinion. You should still check it out. You might like the parts that I didn’t like so much.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

3 Star Rating

1. The Music of Erich Zann
2. Cursed Abomination
3. Rotten Existence
4. Miasmatic Malodour
5. Abyssal Menace
6. Funeral Candles
7. Seed of Belial
Brewhammer – Bass
Golem – Guitars
Coffin Crawler – Vocals
Abyssal Conqueror – Drums
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records


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