Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Denouncement Pyre - Almighty Arcanum
Only a little more than a month into 2013 and Australia has already unleashed an album that will more than likely find its way to the top of many year-end lists, and that record is Denouncement Pyre's sophomore "Almighty Arcanum." Of course, an album as awesome as this needs an equally awesome label like Hell's Headbangers to spread this unholy beast across the metal underground, and like nearly all of the label's releases, this one is worth your money. The Australian metal scene is no stranger to bestial black/death metal bands, so it should come as no surprise that this trio of darkness (which features members of the insanely good Nocturnal Graves) has gotten the formula for mesmerizing, yet punishing death metal down to a science, creating eight tracks of blasphemous perfection that should please fans of bands like Destroyer 666, Weapon, Beherit, Bathory and the like.
The riffs come in dozens throughout "Almighty Arcanum," and the guitarist D. doesn't write too many lackluster ones, as a majority of the riffage on this album ranges from decent to excellent. The amount of fast and pummeling riffs is almost equal to the amount of crushing mid-paced passages and melodic sections, making for a well-balanced assault. There is absolutely no lack of quality to be found on this release, and the superior songwriting throughout guarantees it. "An Extension to the Void" is the opening track and it immediately showcases what this band does so damn well, and that's create memorable music. The song clocks in at a little over seven minutes, but it should have no problem in holding the listener's attention, as the riffs flow together with the thundering drums and haunting vocals in such a smooth manner, that the listener has no reason to tune out, but sit back and continue to be the recipient of a sonic beat-down courtesy of one of Austalia's finest in Denouncement Pyre.
Aside from the impeccable songwriting skills and numerous riffs, these Aussies are able to create memorable death metal by conjuring up an evil and dark atmosphere that spans the whole album from beginning to end, making every slower passage that much more chilling, and the faster and heavier stuff stand out from atypical thrash riffage masked by intense drumming and extreme vocals. The title track and "He Who Conquers All" are the best examples of this, with both songs featuring a solid mix of rapid-fire tempos and mid-paced headbangers, but there is always that lingering dark aura that identifies the music as Denouncement Pyre and no one else. "Almighty Arcanum" is a monolithic record in terms of just how heavy and massive the sound is, proving this isn't your typical basement metal act looking to make extreme music for the sake of being extreme. This is not for the faint of heart or those looking for innovation, simply for those who enjoy music soaked in blasphemy and evil.
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"He Who Conquers All"
4.4/5 or 88%.