“Screams From The Catacombs” marks the first EP for American death metal group Cemetery Filth. Despite being from the USA, the band’s name more accurately reflects their sound. This release is full of absolutely abhorrent, filthy death metal in the vein of the Finnish and Swedish death metal scenes from the early 1990’s. All three tracks on this EP provide a brutal offering of unrelenting riffs and aggression.
The opening song is the best track here. It has by far the most variety in terms of the style of riffs (everything from straightforward tremolo picking, to trills, to more standard slow Autopsy-esque moments). Featuring a couple of guitar solos and some other lead playing, the song shows that Cemetery Filth knows how to inject melody into their music despite its deprived nature. Both of the other tracks largely follow the path forged by the title track, and are nearly as convincing. “Cemetery Filth” begins in a doomier direction than the other two songs, and is definitely the slowest overall, but it still provides a much-welcomed burst of brutality, as it breaks into speedier territory after a couple of minutes.
A big part of the draw to this record is the individual performances. The vocals are disgusting, and again, show a nod to Autopsy. While perhaps not having the range of Chris Reifert, Cemetery Filth’s vocalist still delivers some twisted screams. This is particularly noticeable towards the end of the title track, where you hear him roar “screamssssssss from the catacombs!” There is not a single moment on the EP where he fails to perform with conviction. Another highlight is the drumming. Because death metal drumming as a whole tends to be quite impressive, it is often difficult to distinguish between bands with a genuinely great drummer, and those who simply have a good drum tone. The positive news is that Cemetery Filth has both. Their drummer relies on an abundance of fills as he destroys every section of the kit. This sound is amplified by the fantastic crack of his snare drum, which manages to be incredibly satisfying each time it is used (and even more so when used in fills).
Despite its release in 2014, “Screams From The Catacombs” sounds definitively old-school. The production recalls a time when bands couldn’t get their sound any cleaner because nobody really knew how to mix death metal in the way it sounds today. Additionally, the music is entirely devoid of any modern influences, and one can even sense a small hint of thrash influence at times, which remains an important factor in creating death metal that sounds like the giants of the subgenre. “Screams From The Catacombs” is an essential listen for anyone who calls themself a death metal fan!
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"Screams From The Catacombs"
4.4/5 or 88%.
Written by Scott