Friday, August 23, 2013

Cleric : "Gratum Inferno"

This is not the proggy band from Philly, the only thing progressive about this band is that they get progressively heavier as the album goes on. This is a ruthless death metal band from Dallas , Texas. My girl friend is barometer for death metal's commercial potential, this album is so heavy and old school she only made it half a verse. The deep growl made her say Dethklok, but this is nothing so refined. It has even the crude 80's snare sound that I normally hate , but I can live with it here. They take me back to the days when the fires of hell burned in Tampa and death metal was the most Satanic thing going. Before any one took at lighter to a church the trailer parks of Florida had kids spray painting pentagrams on graveyards everywhere. It's that kind of vibe as there's not a ritualistic feeling to this like these guys take the dark lord seriously.

They album runs you over like a juggernaut from the opening that has a very Deicide like trajectory or even Nocturnus without the keyboards.  Its very straight forward though the find a better groove on "From Womb to Tomb and then by 'Into Death and Far Beyond" they are ripping it with a fury that  stomps into your chest .  It is one of the best death metal songs I have heard in some time, you cannot resist head banging to the verse. The blast parts aren't their strongest moments, as they work at maximum payload when more focused on moving with one fluid motion rather than indulging chaos.

The atmospheric intros and samples they employ add depth to the album as a whole . The meat hook lumber of "Left Hand Wrath" carries doom undertones. The guitars are coated in a thick slime of grave dirt making the album dense as Disma, who is the only modern band comparison can be drawn to. They are rough and dense enough to appeal to fans of grindier death metal for sure.

This strikes me as having much more heart to it than the new Ulcerate, these guys seem to be having fun making the music and its fun to listen to as well. I prefer when they stay away from the straight forward snare patterns that are a-typical of death metal and when they default to those on the last song it's a slight  bummer, but when they turn the power on and slow it down in the final three minutes i'm appeased.

I'll around this up to a 9 because I really like the sonic sections where heavily effected guitar rings out in the distance like they are sailing off into a dark sunset. This is a death metal band that should be a must if you are a fan of the genre, since I prefer black metal, it says something when a death metal bands can impress me.

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