Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh
posted on 9/2010 By:
There are times when I wish that “heavy” is enough, because if it was, then this year would look a hell of a lot better. If the wretched sounds of Vasaeleth, Father Befouled, and the murderous Witchrist causes you to erect a tall, hard rise, the new Encoffination will give you an orgasm so violent it’ll make your asshole hurt. Sometimes that’s all you really need--the lines of consent all but completely erased with no gentle kiss goodbye, with fond memories written in a lifelong scar--but at some point even that gets a little old. Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh is not about substance, but it does encapsulate the ruptured perversity that matches or surpasses what Incantation birthed. And yet, I still don’t think we’ve reached the precipice that threatens to crumble under the weight of all this blasphemy, but damn if we aren’t getting closer.
With many bands of this ilk, it becomes all about the tone, and not about the tenacity. Eventually, this will not be enough to satisfy. A half-hour of sound with no purpose is wasted space, because if the songs don’t stick, then there’s no reason to invest your money, patience, or precious time. The tunes belched forth by this inbred cousin of Father Befouled (featuring guitarist/vocalist Ghoat, and drummer Wayne “Elektrokutioner” Sarantopoulu) are not quite so bombastic as to cause seizures, but they do provide filthy doom-tinged death metal in warped abundance. Varying speeds between mid-paced lurches and guttural crawls, the means are more important than the end, because they’re in no hurry to do as much damage as they can in their allotted time by bludgeoning you with cavernous riff after crumbling riff, assailing menacingly with thick, callous intonation.
They’ve got the sound right, but the songs fail to make a lasting impact beyond the crippling heft of “Eucharist Of Bone And Flame,” and the dense-beyond-belief “Nefarious Yet Elegant Are The Bowels Of Hell.” The overall picture is more pronounced than the individual pieces comprising this bloody canvas. There is barely any deviation from the trudging, lumbering pace, situated squarely in a realm where blast beats and nuance are pretty much ignored; although “Coffinpsalms” is the excellent exception to the rule, adding a vague clean section along with the most textured drumming to be heard on the disc, bringing to mind Impetuous Ritual’s more “docile” moments, if such things exist.
This oncoming autumn is one of massive weight, and Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh is doing more than its fair share to make it that much heavier. But I’m left wanting more than this, listening for any slight embellishment that makes the ground stop trembling. As a huge fan of this style, I find this to be quite the satisfactory slab of squalid deathly doom since there is a great deal of demise and fire to be heard, but when compared to their counterparts, Encoffination falls solidly into the middle of the unkempt pack.
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