Friday, March 14, 2008

CENOTAPH - Riding Our Black Oceans ('94)

So there's at least 4 Cenotaph's out there, all death metal bands... one from Turkey, one from Italy, one from the US... but the Cenotaph from Mexico was the most original in my opinion and with this sophomore release made one of my favorite death metal albums ever. Riding Our Black Oceans at it's core is truly melodic death metal, but I cringe to use the term, as this is nothing like the Gothenburg style of Dark Tranquillity or In Flames - but you could make an early Edge Of Sanity comparison. Cenotaph on this album plays mournful, gut-wrenching 90's era death metal remniscient of a more melodic mid-period Death or Pestilence. The vocals are deep, but more of a bark, and at times even get to weeping. The musicianship is top notch, and the riffs are memorable as hell. The production's organic, but clear, and in the CD's liner notes it mentions that the album was not mixed or mastered, and completely analog, as they care about being "true" (LOL!). Anyways, this to me is extreme metal with honesty and conviction, and a true quality album if you ever get your hands on it. Since you probably won't, thus has my blog once again done a service by providing this fine album to you in a neatly packaged zip file.

Of note as well is the fact that every album by this band sounds like a different band, the first album "The Gloomy Reflection Of Our Hidden Sorrows" is eerie, belchy crushing death/doom, the next album after Riding Our Black Oceans, "Saga Belica" is pretty much a thrash album, and the last album is different too (they had 4 of them). First one's worth checking out if you find it.

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1. The Solitudes
2. Severance
3. Grief To Obscuro
4. Macabre Locus Celesta
5. Among The Abrupt
6. Infinitum Valet
7. The Silence Of Our Black Oceans
8. Soul Profundis
9. Ecstacia Tenebrae

"I implore with fear my sword that is hate
with purgatory emotional sensibility
I ride in this night of the stars
fighting for the domination of my own
light of darkness
trying to catch the wind in my fist"

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