Cruciamentum - Official Website

Obsidian Refractions

United Kingdom Country of Origin: United Kingdom

1. Charnel Passages
2. Abhorrence Evangelium
3. Necropolis Of Obsidian Mirrors
4. Scorn Manifestation
5. Interminable Rebirth Of Abomination
6. Drowned

Review by Michael on December 5, 2023.

Finally, eight long years after the stunning debut Charnel Passages the guys from Cruciamentum have mercy on us and serve up their eagerly awaited follow-up Obsidian Refractions. A very morbid cover accompanies their music and if it was back in the 80s this would have been a must-have album just because of this. The music hasn't changed too much in comparison to the debut. I mean, a band who names the opener after the title of the debut won't put too much effort into the music or do something differently… will they?

Wrong!! Obsidian Refractions is about 45 minutes of rotten, cavernous vile old school death metal that bands such as Krypts or Spectral Voice do as well. The vocals are full of hatred and spread a very eerie atmosphere. The drums are thundering full of pressure and give the album a very aggressive and intense touch. And the guitars….. the leads are pretty energetic and absolutely sick like Morbid Angel did back on “Altars Of Madness” and “Blessed Are The Sick” (listen to ‘Scorn Manifestation’ for example). But the band has a very chaotic complexity that it sometimes makes it hard to follow although you never feel confused while listening to their stuff. The breaks and turns are just pretty unbelievable or even astonishing and the details in the songs are so lovely composed and sophisticated (or should I say hatefully?) that this might explain why the band took so long to release some new music. But apart from these features, also some more melodic elements crept in into their music (especially concerning the guitar work) and sometimes even some very tasteful keyboard elements here and there and even some death-doom parts that remind me personally pretty much of Demigods masterpiece “Slumber Of Sullen Eyes”.

The sinister atmosphere goes like a common thread through the whole six songs although it is really hard to point out what makes this evilness out. Is it the vocals with the often double-layered voice, is it the hypnotical keyboard like in ‘Drowned’ or is it the battering drums? Maybe it’s the sometimes slight dissonant guitar that feels like rubbing salt into a wound, or maybe it is all those combined together? Well, it is really hard to say. All I know is that this album overflows with negative energy, morbidity and hatred.

You don't believe me? Just check the last song on the album (‘Drowned’). Apart from the fact that it is (with over 10 minutes running time) their longest one on the album, in it you will find all the trademarks which I described. It is a song that fully pulls you in and won’t leave you unimpressed. You can be sure of that! For me, this one together with the latest Vastum are the masterpieces concerning real death metal.

Rating: 9 out of 10 hateful refractions