12 Jun 2017

Cerecloth - This Temple is a Grave (Bloodsoaked Records - 2016)

Cerecloth plays death metal with a sound akin to Bolt Thrower or Cancer, but other influences can be heard once the obvious has been stated. "This Temple is a Grave" is their debut demo which leaves little more to want, other than more material.
Remember 10+ years ago when every new band didn't have to call their low budget demos a "debut EP" in a desperate attempt to make it sound like a professional release? Cerecloth sure seems to at least, which was what first caught my eye. Being released by Bloodsoaked Records, which has a keen ear for finding underground gems both around their native Sundsvall and other places also increased the chance of this being a demo worth getting. Needless to say, the logo patch packed along with the cassette (yes, cassette) now proudly adorns my battle vest.
Opening track "Strangling the Saint, Strangling the Prophet" doesn't waste time introducing each instrument one at a time, but instead kicks right off into the verse riff which is a melodic affair of Bolt Thrower flavor. Followed by a crawling bridge and chorus with un uneasy aura which draws the mind to early Morbid Angel's heavier material. This feeling is further cemented by Mangus Ödling's  lyrical themes, and once the first solo on this demo hits your ears even more Morbid Angel influences seems to be heard in this at-first-glance Bolt Thrower tribute. The lead guitar work here, and throughout the whole demo, is superb and backed up by a really stable foundation by the rest of the band.

The title track "This Temple is a Grave" also wants to give you your moneys worth as soon as possible and dives into an incredibly groovy riff, much made so by Emil Leijon's kick drum capabilities and syncopated cymbal hits (he also delivers some of the patented Bolt Thrower "double-kick-drum-and-syncopated-snare-beat" later in the song, but lets end the BT-comparisons here). This track has more drive to it than the previous and moves into a nice melodic interlude after the solo, played tightly on muted guitar strings. And Magnus bellows "This temple is a fucking grave" with an admirable conviction before the shortest song on this twelve and a half minute demo comes to and end.

Last out is "May your Corpse Become the Instrument", and here Cerecloth treats us to a more traditional intro sequence before moving into yet another groovy kick drum carpet-bombing that basically continues until the last note rings out. Here is where I'd say there is a bit room for improvement as the verses in this track feel a bit anonymous, especially after the two first songs, nothing that makes me rewind my tape before the track is over though.
I am a firm believer that a demo should be allowed to sound like a demo, and don't expect new and unestablished bands to be able to barf up thousands of euros to hire famous producers. Sure, the guitars sound a bit muffled, the cymbals are somewhat splishy-splashy, but I'd be damned if it doesn't get the job done! Looking at their lineup, these guys has obviously been in a studio for larger productions with other bands before. But "This Temple is a Grave" feels like a very honest debut done with the means available, and neither does try to, or needs to be, more than it is.

I for one am looking forward to further releases from Cerecloth, and I believe that their plans are to release more demos before going for a full length. I do hope for some more variation, and I realize this is rather minimalistic death metal, but I am not proposing acoustic or orchestral interludes between the songs. But some more significant changes in tempos and lengths between the songs would be a welcome addition. In short, the material here is very strong, I just want to hear more of what the band has to offer. "This Temple is a Grave" rightfully earns: 7/10

Cerecloth on Facebook
Cerecloth on Bandcamp

No comments:

Post a Comment