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Crescent – Carving The Fires Of Akhet

Crescent
Carving The Fires Of Akhet
by Ian Yeara at 10 May 2021, 10:20 AM

CRESCENT is a Melodic Death Metal band originally from Egypt (more recently relocated to Germany). They formed in 1998 actually, yet their debut album wasn't released until 2014. I never heard that album, but I remember listening to their 2018 sophomore album The Order Of Amenti. I remember it being decent, but nothing mind-blowing. This is pretty brutal death metal, this isn't like AMON AMARTH or ENSIFERUM, this is more on the Blackened side with some moments that verge on Deathcore.

As a student of mythology I love when bands use it as lyrical inspiration, on top of that it's especially refreshing to hear music about the Egyptian Pantheon. Writing music about Greek and Norse myths is so overused it's become a cliché, but Egyptian mythology is just as interesting, with its own unique flavor.

This is one of those albums where I really like the overall sound and approach to the songwriting, but I find myself wishing the songs did more to differentiate themselves. There's not really much in the way of choruses as we usually think of them nor in the way of melodies. The guitar riffs all sound great, the drums are well mixed and the vocals have enough variety in style that I don't get bored of them. What really makes this a fun album though is the variety in tempos and even some interesting changes in time signatures. This album seems to have brought in more Doom Metal elements, which creates an interesting dichotomy between the blast beats and the Doom riffs, but it's that very difference that gives this album a variety of sounds and styles that allow me to appreciate it more.

Songs like "Serpent Of Avaris" and "Neb Pehti Ra" come across as more Progressive with lots of transitions and modulations. Moving from Blackened Death Metal to Doom Metal with ease, these are the songs I find most interesting. Songs like "Imprecations Upon Thy Throne" are more in the straight forward, old school Death Metal vein, and I still appreciate them, but it'll take a lot more time for me to fully appreciate them.

The last three songs on the album were probably my favorite, "Drowned In Theban Blood" is much more progressive, kind of dabbling in between the doom and death metal sounds, fusing them together to try and do something different. "Crimson Descension" is a neat little instrumental interlude that interests me for no other reason other than we finally hear some Egyptian sounds, even if just a little. Before I get to the final track I just want to say that when you write music specifically inspired by Egyptian Mythology, I'm expecting some actual Egyptian musical influence. I mean this album sounds good, even great but it also sounds just like every other above average Scandinavian Blackened Death Metal band. I like these guys, but they don't really stand out from the crowd to me and that's why honestly I'm probably going to forget about this band not too long after I finish writing this review.

Easily the best song on the album is "As Nu Enshrines Death". This song is just a great Prog Death Metal journey in not even 7 minutes. This is where their lack of traditional song form helps the most. They go through so many transitions and sections in such a short amount of time, but it feels natural, the song just flows really well.

The last three (two really) songs really end the album with an exclamation point. "Nu Enshrines Death" actually has a bit of an Eastern feel to it in places which I love. I won't harp on it more, but on their next album I would love to hear some traditional Egyptian sounds/instruments, I just feel there is such a great opportunity to make these guys an incredibly unique band with a great gimmick.

How many Melodic Death Metal bands writing about Egyptian mythology are there? I'm sure there's plenty more than I'm aware of, but that's just it these guys are the only ones that I'm aware of that have any kind of larger scale presence in the metal scene. At this point, I'm just repeating myself.

If you want some solid, Scandinavian-style Blackened Death Metal with a slight proggy twist then you'll love this album. Not to mention the real best part of the album, the bonus tracks! "Xeper-I-Set" by DISSECTION and "…For Victory" by BOLT THROWER; so I suggest you find the version of this with the bonus tracks.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Fires Of Akhet
2. Moot Set Waas
3. Serpent Of Avaris
4. Neb-Pehti-Ra
5. Imprecations Upon Thy Flame
6. Drowned In Theban Blood
7. Crimson Descension
8. As Nu Enshrines Death
9 - Dreamland ('99 revamp)
\[Bonus Track]10 - Xeper-I-Set (Dissection cover)
\[Bonus Track]11 - …For Victory (Bolt Thrower cover) \[Bonus Track]
Lineup:
Ismaeel Attallah – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Youssef Saleh – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Julian Dietrich – Drums
Stefan Dietz – Bass
Record Label: Listenable Records
     


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