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Rancorum - The Vermin Shrine Award winner

The Vermin Shrine
by Liam Easley at 06 February 2019, 2:49 PM

Taking the steamrolling heaviness of JUNGLE ROT and combining it with the complexity and atmosphere of MORBID ANGEL, Romania’s RANCORUM released their debut full-length, “The Vermin Shrine”.

The album consists of six songs, each lasting five to seven minutes long. In total, the album is about 34 minutes long, which isn’t that long. Personally, longer songs from straight Death Metal acts such as this seem daunting. However, this is not the case with RANCORUM, as they manage to keep their music interesting to the very last second of each song.

The riffage on this album is excellent. “Voidification” kicks the album off with some of the more technical riffage you’ll hear on the album. The riffs pass by seamlessly and melodies intertwine as the song goes. There’s a bit of time signature experimentation in the song as well, which helps keep everything flavorful.

This technical riffage makes multiple appearances on this album. This reminds me of an album that was released earlier in 2018 called “Evil Upheaval” by DEPRAVITY. The riffage is not as technical, as I would describe DEPRAVITY’s style as Technical Death Metal, but they definitely had a lot of old school Death Metal influence. They also had a similar tone and atmosphere as RANCORUM. This album is basically a less technical, more doomy DEPRAVITY.

This is a good thing. While they sound like DEPRAVITY (and other bands, of course), they still have fairly original riffs. This album’s strongest riffs are on the last three songs. “The Shining” shows RANCORUM’s technical prowess once again with interesting passages full of tempo changes and time signature experimentation. The slow, crushing chorus is especially heavy, showing JUNGLE ROT or DYING FETUS-styled chugs mixed with an old school approach.

The heavy, pummeling riffs start back up with “Towards Below”, the first of the two seven-minute songs. The track starts heavy and then delves into an atmospheric arpeggio. Each song on the album has a lot of diversity, and this is just one example. Whether it’s technicality, doom, brutality, or atmosphere, you’ll find it all on this short album.

Usually I would dock a band for having two seven-minute songs back to back. Hell, I’d dock a band for having four five-minute songs in a row. That just gets tedious. However, like I stated before, RANCORUM knows how to maintain flow and keep their music interesting. The placement of songs on this album is perfectly fine because it never gets tiring. I’d usually get bored, finding myself constantly checking to see when the song will end. I don’t have that with this album.

RANCORUM’s “The Vermin Shrine” is one of those albums that most of us overlooked last year and turned out to be a gem. It’s heavy and doomy with atmosphere and technicality when needed. The songwriting is great, the production is heavy, and the riffs kick ass.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Voidification
2. Bedlam of Saints
3. Nadiral
4. The Shining
5. Towards Below
6. The Vermin Shrine

Nick Paraschiv – Guitars
Ravager - Vocals

Record Label: Loud Rage Music


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