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Sempiternal Dusk : Cenotaph Of Defectuous Creation

Sempiternal Dusk's Doom-infused Death Metal proves an unexceptional experience, despite the quality musicianship.

'Cenotaph Of Defectuous Creation' is the first brush I've had with USA's Sempiternal Dusk. The band appears to have garnered a bit of a following over the years so I was keen to see if their arising reputation was something I could get on board with. Pre-listening, I wasn't expecting much - from a purely cynical standpoint - because I'm a judgemental person sometimes, and when I see thesaurus asphyxiation like the above track listing, I'm used to hearing music by a band that put more effort into the titles than the music.

And would you believe it? That cynical, skeptical, shameless stereotyping proved to be correct here. Whilst listening to this release, the only word that kept bouncing around my head was 'bland' - because it is. It all sounds very repetitive, bereft of authenticity, and frankly a bit boring. This is one of those releases that would most likely sound a lot better live than on album because the production used does them no favours. In order to play this intense, powerful brand of Death/Doom, they need a muddier production. Imagine diSEMBOWELMENT's style with November's Doom's production and you'll get close to what Sempiternal Dusk have produced on 'Cenotaph Of Defectuous Creation'.

I'm perhaps being a bit too kind to Sempiternal Dusk on the production mentioned above because it's not perfect, particularly as the guttural growls get lost within the music a lot of the time. However, it's far too polished for this kind of music to be pulled off. I'm a fan of the guitarwork and drumming, both of which sound very in-tune, and lend the Death/Doom composition plenty of punch. I can't offer much of a guess as to how good the vocals are because, as I said above, they get lost in the mix too much for me to form a concrete opinion there. Either way, they do suit the intensity of the music, particularly in up-tempo sections.

In terms of style, the band leans more toward Death Metal than Doom Metal, although it's unquestionably a hybrid of the two. I'm not well-versed enough within the realms of Death Metal to comment as to how well they've performed it as I don't listen to much of it nowadays. It seems to have all the necessary trademarks to be solid Death Metal to me, but I'll leave the finer details to be assessed by those with more interest in it than I have.

Individually, there are aspects of this album that I like. The musicianship seems very good to me, for example, particularly the drumming. However, from a collective perspective, I just found the album a bit bland for my liking. Again, I'd probably love to see something like this album performed in the flesh but it's not the kind of thing I'd enjoy simply listening to. Part of that may stem from my lack of interest in Death Metal as a genre but I listen to enough Death/Doom for that to not play as substantial a part as it could in my ultimate analysis of the release.

Overall, I wasn't blown away. It's not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, but I wouldn't class it as one that is particularly good either. It's a middle of the road effort with some clear potential for improvements in the future.

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Reviewer's rating: 5.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Caverns Of Aural Decay
2. Excavated Filth From Dimensional Incarnations
3. Orgiastic Feast Upon Martyred Flesh
4. Beneath The Emblems Of Death
5. Refracted Suffering Through The Windows Of Hell
6. Spears Of Pestilence

Duration : Approx. 37 minutes

Visit the Sempiternal Dusk bandpage.

Reviewed on 2020-03-01 by Ian Morrissey
Aesthetic Death
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