Infera Bruo – Cerement (Prosthetic Records)

Sunday, 9th September 2018
Rating: 8/10

I’m never surprised when I encounter well done black metal from New England. The winter season is a marathon experience that seems to never want to let go along the coast (April and its mid 30s was agonizing while my friends elsewhere in the country had already begun to breach the upper 70s). In the truest and most non-hyperbolic forms that spirit of frigid misery seethes throughout Cerement.

Hailing from Boston the band wastes no time early on in ‘Shroud Enigma’ showcasing its riffy and melancholic take on the classic black metal form. The song does not gallop, the song is not a blast. The song is a frozen march toward some likely pernicious form. Refreshing is the heft in the mix the bass carries and the dynamic it brings to the show.

All the staples are here: interludes with acoustic guitar and murky soundscapes (‘Poison Waters’ and ‘Effigy of Reason’) fit alongside the energetic ‘End Notes’ and the stomping ‘Draped In Sky’ (which on its own, is a bit too long). Like contemporaries Woe clean vocals edge in from time to time to accentuate in places and lead in others. Among surprises, how well done without being overdone the clean vocals are is among the best.

And it’s a tight listen. Weighing in at just under 40 minutes and capable of fitting cleanly on a single LP, Cerement is among the most tightly woven albums I’ve encountered this year. Issues with ‘Draped In Sky’ notwithstanding, when the fog of close ‘Temporial’ and its distortion lifts I’m genuinely surprised the time has already passed.

We’re now firmly in the post-festival seasons where the biggest releases of the year tend to come out slugging. Cerement doesn’t have issue standing up to most of them.

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