Caecus – The Funeral Garden (Self-Released)

Tuesday, 31st May 2016
Rating: 9/10

That next wave of death metal that everyone seems to be championing as of late tends to involve atmosphere. Think of bands like Rivers of Nihil and Fallujah, or the lesser known Warforged – heavy yet emotive material that can both punish and caress the listener with equal finesse. Welcome the next band to the big boys table – Caecus, who have come out of nowhere to deliver one of 2016’s finest surprises so far with The Funeral Garden.

If you are familiar with the three bands listed above, your ears should have a good starting point of what to expect (it’s far from a copy of these bands). Caecus does an exceptionally strong job of balancing moments of massive, death metal riffing with some often chilling melodies that you can both enjoy in the present and retain for later. If frantic is what you are looking for, “Womb of the Earth” is happy to oblige on that front as well – chock full of intricate and technical riffing and assaulting drum blasts (not to mention that gorgeous lead that ends out the track) – but still there’s something elegant about it. Some tracks offer more of an almost melancholic feeling in their approach to none-the-less cutthroat riffing, such as “Perpetual Nightfall.” If you examine the closing cut, “Mourning Never Came,” you can even hear how they can even blur the lines between the two extremes. Cutting in with some building melodies, the song increases the heaviness factor while the spiraling melodies wrap themselves around the blastbeats and deathly growls. Ultimately, the rounding out of these types of songs keeps the listener compelled at any given second.

The Funeral Garden has a sound that should rightly catch fire given the current state of death metal. The esoteric yet visceral blend of technical riffing is expertly done and consistently engaging. Hard to think of Caecus and not see them as one of the future leaders if this first full-length is any indicator for the quality that they are capable of. Downright stunning!

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