Beyond The Cenotaph Of Mankind
Review by Alex on March 15, 2023.
And the long never ending journey continues with Runemagick's latest state of sickness, Beyond The Cenotaph Of Mankind. This release appeared to be inevitable when reflecting on the album immediately before this one. Thought was good though it seemed to be missing something essential. This one on the other hand retains that special ingredient found on nearly all of Runemagick's albums. Thus I think it's fair to say that Beyond The Cenotaph Of Mankind could be categorized with their more successful entries to some degree. This one leans heavily on the doom side whilst still being able to carve out enough dm from the remaining spoils. Emphasizing on a groovy yet grueling and gritty sound, Runemagick has cast down an authoritative hand to remind both the initiated and casual why their legacy is one of such everlasting weight and decor.
If you thought the opening track 'Archaic Magick (After The Red Sun)' was a beast on all levels of heaviness, then your thoughts on 'Endless Night Of Eternal End' will probably be something along the lines of what fucking world did I just land in. This composition strikes all the correct chords rhythmically. Utilizing a groovy and catchy song structure it easily serves as a great followup from 'Archaic Magic' and chauffeur to 'Revocation Of Spectral Paths' (excellent track title by the way). Provided this element continues to be active throughout the playtime of the album, Beyond The Cenotaph Of Mankind sets itself steadily in consistency as far as maintaining a strong conceptual feel if anything almost strongly reminiscent of Ahab's "Call Of The Wretched Sea".
The synths used throughout this album alongside the pummeling pounding and occasional backing chants work cohesively to build into escalated passages that are then converted back to knuckle dragging instrumentation as heard on the despair driven track titled, 'The Storm Rode Beyond The Firmament' which is already the fourth installment of six on Beyond The Cenotaph Of Mankind. Transcendental in its motions, the tunes never fail to snatch the sense of time form the listener effortlessly. Paired with the strategic composition of this unified collective, there is no doubt this record will be spun many times (consecutively) on the turntables of thousands.
'Nocturnal Deities Of Winter', jeez, Runemagick struck the listener with a pillar from the dm towers of 1994 while simultaneously keeping the momentum and tonality tuned to the direction they wanted the album. It's the team effort that has in turn reflected an excellently assembled record for Runemagick. From point A to point B, you can't help but acknowledge just how seamless each song is woven into the next, how each vocal note glows with expression, the way each beat of the drum is struck with passion and purpose, how each guitar lick is played with precision and compliments the other musical aspects including the keyboards heard. Mimicking a near perfect installment from the first track right down to the title track, Beyond The Cenotaph Of Mankind will easily be recognised and hailed as one of the best albums of the modern era crafted and put forth by a band that has not lost its touch and does not appear to be losing steam or ready to end the journey any time soon.
Beyond The Cenotaph Of Mankind is slated for release April 28th, 2023 on both cd and the all time favorite and most deserving, vinyl, through Hammerheart Records. Sit at the forefront and experience the magick Runemagick stir in their 30 plus year old bubbling cauldron.
Rating: 9.7 out of 10630