Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cyaegha - Steps of Descent (2008)

And here we've got a technical and ambitious debut offering from a Virgina death metal outfit, laden with groove and discord. The thematic focus for most of the album is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, with the closing track "Fuck-Start My Dinner" being very reminiscent of early Cannibal Corpse subject matter. Trust me, just read the lyrics. Yep, gross is right.

At first I found many of the songs to sound quite similar, but on further immersion I found myself growing more attached to some of their excellent freak out riffs. For example, the riff that comes in half way through "Mask in Flesh" is quite excellent and brutally steers the track in a new direction. Some of the tracks are simply bewildering with their technical flow of maddened riffing, i.e. "Postmortem Enlightenment" and "From the Depths". One of my favorite tracks, surprisingly, was the haunting instrumental "Abductio Sapientia" which is actually an orchestral, synth piece with no metal whatsoever. It's pretty spooky, especially this time of year.

Lyrical focus is heavily placed on the H.P. Lovecraft mythos and we can never have enough of that. Production on the album is great. The guitars have a nice, organic touch to them, the bass is audible and the vocals and drums balance nicely. Fans of the new wave of US brutal/tech death metal centered on decent riff-writing and frantic musicianship (i.e. Odious Mortem and others) will have a grisly feast on this one.

Verdict: Win [7/10]

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