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Sempiternal Dusk - Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation

Sempiternal Dusk
Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation
by Chris Hawkins at 04 September 2019, 8:18 PM

Once again, Portlandia has proven itself to be a veritable mecca for more expressive and inventive artistic creation.  Acts as disparate as IDLE HANDS, YOB, and UADA have all released monumental albums within the last year that effectively pushed boundaries of sound, scope, and vision remarkably forward.  Completing this genre arch is SEMPITERNAL DUSK, a band that have taken Death Metal back to its roots by not simply repeating past glories but instead channeling their spirit and thus building upon them thereby moving the genre forward.  Formed back in 2011, “Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation” is the band’s second full-length after releasing three prior splits.  Dark Descent has proven to be a label with its heart on the pulse of forward-thinking Extreme Metal, a fact further elaborated with this mighty collection of vitriolic Death Metal.

This is not Death Metal for scene kids.  This is not Death Metal for hipsters or those who try to fit in by emulating the past with clothing and flavor of the month bands that endlessly, needlessly regurgitate riffs from the past.  SEMPITERNAL DUSK, rather, is a band that has a distinct sound that is much different from others and provides a tenaciously bleak atmosphere that rapturously envelops the listener in all-consuming blackened wings of vehemence.

What truly ensures the success of the band’s ambition is the heavy-laden production of the album.  The guitars are noticeably darkened with a bold use of reverb giving the album a large, spatial effect.  The bass is not buried in the mix but instead conjoins with the six strings to encrust the sound with an impenetrable bedrock of low end.  The percussion has the impact of a natural unprocessed sound, giving the feeling of proximity like standing next to the bass drum itself.  Dry lung, guttural vocals reside perfectly alongside the resolutely cavernous sound.  one cannot help but hearken back to INCANTATION’s mighty “Onward to Golgotha” though SEMPITERNAL DUSK are far from fan boy clones instead building upon the foundation laid by those who preceded them.

The album opens with an intro wisely titled “Caverns of Aural Decay.”  It provides a choking atmosphere like being caught in an anarchic vortex of dense primal force.  It is an auspicious beginning for a punishing album that incorporates all that is heavy in Death Metal.  Thus, the band have created a menagerie of stifling brutality.  “Excavated Filth from Dimensional Incantations” follows with a militantly murderous guitar tone that truly comes alive as the flood gates are opened.  The band manages to elaborate on a simple chord progression as they meticulously build upon a brooding, cathartic atmosphere.  The sound is relentlessly huge, suffocating, in fact.  The fifth track, “Refracted Suffering Through the Windows of Hell,” is blistering in its maniacally jarring effect.

SEMPITERNAL DUSK have created a sound that is monumentally engrossing.  Closing my eyes and allowing my mind to wander, I was presented visions of being trapped in a steep, spiral staircase while being relentlessly pursued by hateful demonic entities out not only for blood, but my very soul.  With visions as such, it seems the band have accomplished their goal of creating enrapturing, darkly dystopian Death Metal.  There are few bands who are able to pen such engrossing tracks full of atmosphere as SEMPITERNAL DUSK are doubtlessly at the top of their game.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Caverns of Aural Decay
2. Excavated Filth from Dimensional Incarnations
3. Orgiastic Feast upon Martyred Flesh
4. Beneath the Emblems of Death
5. Refracted Suffering through the Windows of Hell
6. Spears of Pestilence

TC - Drums, Vocals
JH – Guitars
VB - Guitars

Record Label: Dark Descent Records


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