Reviewed: September 2019
Released: 2019, Dark Descent Records
If you didn’t already know – Osmium and Iridium are the densest metals known to man. Alternatively, if you wanted to consider things in terms of relative atomic mass, then you would be looking at both Plutonium and Uranium as the heaviest of metals. If you wanted to put these conclusions to further testing, a suitable measure might be to stack them up against this newest release from Sempiternal Dusk.
Cenotaph Of Defectuous Creation is the Portland trio’s sophomore album, following on from 2014’s self titled release. On it, the musicians have served up five tracks of churning metal that feel so heavy, there may need to be an urgent amendment to the periodic table.
Keen to emphasise their disdain for modern death metal cliches, the band have initially opted to maximise the weight of their riffs by slowing them to a pummelling doom tempo, lurching around the formidable voice of drummer/vocalist, “TC,” who also hammers out some powerfully primitive double bass drum work underneath his guttural growl.
Blasts of acceleration emerge on Orgiastic Feast Upon Martyred Flesh, demonstrating there is as much death as there is doom on this album. This is sustained on Beneath the Emblems of Death and Refracted Suffering Through the Windows of Hell, the latter featuring some particularly grim guitar tones mixed into the dirt and distortion.
Production wise, the band have achieved a sharper sound this time around. It’s still dense and filthy, but without being buried in the murky quagmire that steeped their debut. The band have retained the raw edges of their previous lo-fi approach, but there is a clarity to these songs that draws out the aggression and ensures each composition is received as a blunt attack.
In addition to the mix, much of the power on Cenotaph Of Defectuous Creation comes from the layered guitars of “VB”. Throughout the album, he opts for a brutally primal approach. No unnecessary flourishes. Everything is deliberate, effective and could be described as deceptively simple. Dig deeper and you will find moments of melody and discord that really demonstrate his creativity and ensure this is an album that will reward on repeated listens
Overall, it’s a release I’d recommend. It’s grisly and thick, hefty and overdriven, and while there are no stand out tracks, as a whole, it’s heavy. Very heavy.
01. Caverns of Aural Decay
02. Excavated Filth from Dimensional Incarnations
03. Orgiastic Feast Upon Martyred Flesh
04. Beneath the Emblems of Death
05. Refracted Suffering Through the Windows of Hell
06. Spears of Pestilence
JH – Guitars
VB – Guitars
TC – Drums/Vocals