Consummation – Ritual Severance

Consummation’s debut demo from back in 2012 was one of the best demos I’ve heard in the style of abyssal and murky death metal. The Australians were onto a sound that was twisted, caustic, vicious and extremely mature for a young band. Densely atmospheric as well as technical and dissonant their songwriting and musical talent was clear even from down in their murky depths. Now back with a new EP containing two ten minute songs they’ve even managed to up the ante from their brilliant demo. They’ve tightened up both the musicianship and the production and have released an EP that’s atmospheric, technical, dissonant and above all brilliant.

The production is less murky than on the demo, and while that really worked for the music they made on that release, the clarity that’s to be found on Ritual Severance just enables them to really take their sound up another notch. The overwhelmingly caustic atmosphere of the debut is somewhat less pronounced here, but they still create a dark and cavernous sound as they play sprawling and dissonant riffs that twist through strange avenues like travelling by torchlight through a dark underground labyrinth. They’ve injected something of the sound of the more occult black metal groups into their sound, coming from the churning riffs and blastbeats present right from the start of The Weightless Grip of Fire, as well as the Bölzer-esque high pitched angular and dissonant tremolo riffs (with a little of Dodecahedron in the sound too) that sit atop the barrelling drums, ground shaking bass and chunky riffs crushing their way along beneath the surface. One doesn’t expect the solo that snakes it’s way over the wall of sound at the five minute mark of the opening track, starting slow and building in speed with musicality above technicality (saved for the riffcraft) which sounds absolutely immense, nor that it would return in a slower manner after the pace of the track slows down into some death-doom riffage. The atmospheric and melodic black metal at the eight minute mark is reminiscent of some of the heavier yet melodic bands in the Scandinavian scene such as Horna, Marduk and Taake but with their own penchant for the occult atmosphere and the huge crashing sound to the drums it still sounds all their own, before eerie synths see out the end of the first track.

The second track Blighted Ovum is more slow and eerie, revealing itself slowly in the first few minutes as it twists and turns around yet more strange avenues fueled by dissonant riffs, then kicks off with blastbeats and fast moving brain melting riffs around the two minute mark with the snarled vocals sounding tremendous over the top, throaty and bestial in the best sense. It’s overall a somewhat more thoughtful track than the first one with more slow mind melting technical parts that take a few listens to properly absorb, but it still blasts and crushes enough when it really goes for it to grab the attention at first listen.

Overall Consummation have started from a position of strength on their 2012 debut and moved even further on with this follow up EP, improving the production, musicianship, song writing and penchant for atmosphere. This is often mind-melting, technical, dissonant and still furiously crushing. One of the best Australian bands going, and that’s saying something given the quality of the scene over there.

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