Ever wonder what a band would sound like if it had a guitar with razor wire strings? Couple that with a clean bass tone, production quality reminiscent of the classic days of death metal, and you’ll have a band called Cemetery Filth. This Atlanta-based death metal quartet released Dominion, their first LP, on April 13th.
Eager to show the world their interpretation of death metal, Dominion is chock-full of the subgenres staples, while containing enough of Cemetery Filth’s own twists and turns to make for an exciting listen.
The artwork immediately brought to mind Morbid Angel’s Domination and In Flames’ The Jester Race. The resemblance ends there as this band’s sound is heavily rooted in Floridian Death Metal.
“Subduction” was a great choice for an opening track. This song features a building intro, solid riffs, and great solos that caught my attention while foreshadowing what was to come. “Exhumed Visions” continues where its predecessor left off with an added Cannibal Corpse-like groove. I can’t help but mention that this track features a breakdown with a solo over the top that is fucking filthy.
The next two tracks offer a dynamic 1-2 punch. “Paralytic Scourge” is a ripper that will pummel you with the brutality on display, and “Aeons In Dis” is a mid-tempo bulldozer of riffs. All I could think of while listening to the latter was fighting a giant swamp monster. Sometimes the imagery a song produces makes it that much better in my opinion.
I am a sucker for Slayer, and “Festering Vacuity” is another solid track from the band filled with Slayer-inspired solos that brought a smile to my face that remained well into the next track. As soon as “Churning the Shadows” started, I immediately turned the volume up. A beast of an introduction with a breakdown that will make you nod your head in approval.
“Devoured by Dread” is where I was hoping for some diversity to keep me engaged, but the track suffers from sounding too much like what preceded it. However, “From Euphonic Crypts,” changes the mood of the album with a clean melodic intro that bears similarity to Iron Maiden. A welcome breather from the audio onslaught.
The album closes with the title track, “Dominion,” which acts as a mission statement for the band by encapsulating all they do well. This is the strongest track by a wide margin. It brings to mind war elephants trampling everything in their path with little resistance. It’s filthy, groovy, and my favorite song on the album.
Dominion is Cemetery Filth’s first full release, but showcases a band with mature songwriting skills. Taking a modern spin on the classic death metal sound is both a blessing and a curse. You lose points for originality as it still contains much of what we’ve come to expect from the genre in 30+ years. Despite that, Cemetery Filth place their own stamp on the classic sound with great success. I could see them alongside modern contemporaries (Gruesome, Necrot, and Tomb Mold) if they continue to release albums of this calibre.
I look forward to what the future holds for a band that is already off to a great start.
Favorite Songs: “Dominion” and “Paralytic Scourge”
Release Date: 4/13/2020
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