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Review : Cosmic Atrophy - The Void Engineers by Metal Archives

Via Metal Archives : "Yeah! The Cosmic Atrophy sophomore is out! Yeah…but enough with the joy; let’s see if these intriguing Americanos have gotten out of the difficult sophomore spell. Their debut was a great opus, twisted progressive death metal goodness that made some see them as the new Demilich… nah, not really as the times of “Nespithe”-like staggerers are long gone, of course, but this first showing held a fair bit of promise reaching all the way to the upper echelons where more or less similarly-styled practitioners like The Chasm have been standing for quite some time.

This second coming, however, may not keep the debut’s fans thoroughly satisfied at first as the band have concentrated on their doom metal side more diligently here. In fact, the less patient and not as doom-savvy will probably leave after the third number as they will have heard the good old doom stretched, twisted, bounced and trampled upon, and what-not to the point that even the biggest doom metal haters out there will start showing overt signs of compassion for it. In other words, by no means expect this visionary trio to serve some banal done-by-the-book traditional doom as the approach is fairly quirky and non-linear recalling the early works of Dark Millennium and аnother US act, Ghoulgotha, with schizoid jolts ala Confessor irregularly provided as well. It’s on “Umbral Altar” where the delivery becomes a bit cumbersome and pensive, but the timely arrival of the more aggressive, more death metal-prone “Lurking Beyond the Mirror” compensates for this officiant funeral march.

The mournful procession gets enlarged to nearly king/queen’s funeral-like proportions towards the end on the lengthy over 8-min saga “Aphotic Abnegation” which would make slow-motion behemoths like Thergothon and Skepticism inordinately proud. And yet, amazingly, the guys won’t drown every single one of us into the thousand lakes where those two reside; they won’t cause earlier they throw in the excellent title-track, a much more vivid to the point of proto-blastingness deathy jumper with nice psychedelic additives ala Voivod and Beheaded Zombie, and great twisted leads; and “Submerged in Metamorphosis Pools” which is a more sprawling, but utterly absorbing exercise in progressive death/doom with delightful crooked melodic licks tussling with nervy stop-and-go jolts which bring the spirit of Confessor again on top of fairly creepy dark cavernous Demilich-esque mysticism.

As much as I wasn’t openly jubilant listening to this album the first time, I never put it aside but kept returning to it until this updated physiognomy started making more sense to me. And it wasn’t that hard, truth be told, as this is by no means a drastic metamorphosis; the guys have slowed down, they’ve never been the fastest players in the world to begin with, embracing their mournful side more tightly thus also retaining the element of surprise in the air longer. Both the doom and the death metal lovers will find quite a bit to like with both genres overlapping, more prominently in the second half, also coming together in a somewhat eccentric, hallucinogenic bond on the closing unpredictable 10.5-min odyssey “Shackled to the Zenith of Uncreation”, another example of the musicians’ unorthodox way of thinking and a possible sign of bigger eclecticism provided on future instalments.

Even if the guys vote to doom with the finest and the strangest once more next time around, I personally wouldn’t protest too much. Even if they choose to delineate themselves from the death metal roster further, I would still be in the vicinity eagerly checking out their subsequent output, especially if the latter still holds this ephemeral elusive Nespithe-sque flair." 85/100

Originally written by Bayern for

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