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Album Review: COSMIC PUTREFACTION Crepuscular Dirge For The Blessed Ones

8.5 Reviewer
Score

There is an allure to space in its vastness, its mysteries, its suffocation, and in how stoic it is about its emptiness. We invent stories about corners and imagine what we might learn could we get out there amongst the dark matter and dark energy. But that is not going to stop death metal from speculating and getting creative with these universal mysteries. After all, if the genre is going to explore the mysteries of death, why not also explore those mysteries beyond. Cosmic Putrefaction is a project that is not alone in its desire to explore these mysteries in a expose of heavy, suffocation death metal.

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Hailing out of Milan, Italy, Cosmic Putrefaction is the one-man project of Gabriele Gramaglia (also of Vertebra Atlantis, Summit, The Clearing Path, and more). Cosmic Putrefaction is at its (perhaps collapsed) core a death metal project. Though, its scope is beyond being simply a death metal project. There is a wide range of sound and experimentation that makes that gives the project vision. And the latest offering, Crepuscular Dirge for the Blessed Ones, harnesses an incredible range of sound that is, again, at its core death metal but elevates itself into the mighty beyond.

Over eight tracks and forty-two minutes, Cosmic Putrefaction unleashes and expands in sound. Things begin simply enough on "…Through Withered Horizons," a title that in and of itself, sets a mysterious mood. It is ambient for a little while, but heavier, turbulent riffs take hold and wrest control of the rest of the song. Then things really take off in both brutal and ambient ways with "Sol's Upheaval Debris." By the time this gets going, drawing comparisons to bands like Blood Incantation is not unwarranted. And an important lesson for this band for newcomers hits quickly: Cosmic Putrefaction is incredible at mixing brutal, tech, and cosmic death metal.

Like space, there is a breadth and depth in Cosmic Putrefaction's sound. What is more, is that in what the project offers up, it is easy to not appreciate it all at once. After all, a lot of death metal fans just want the riffs. And that is fine. Riffs are great. It is what death metal is built upon. However, even in the second track, it is apparent that Cosmic Putrefaction comes with so much more to the table. Take the synths over the brutal chugging riffs in "Sol's Upheaval Debris" as an obvious example to contrast brutality with an ominous mood. Another great example is a chorus-soaked section of "Cradle Wrecked, Curtains Unfurled" that opens to, and ends with a sorrowful piano section.

Crepuscular Dirge for the Blessed Ones has shifting tectonics is what I am getting at here. This is not a one-trick pony of a record. There is a lot to take in track after track. And that is the greatest strength of this record. It has a lot to offer in addition to death metal. "From Resounding Silence to The Obsidian Womb" is one of the best examples of breadth because it goes from brutality to synths and melody, to ambience, and then just crushes it for the remainder of the song. It has a lot to offer. But for some, it might be lost on them.

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To date, this is Cosmic Putrefaction's strongest offering. It is not reinventing the wheel of death metal, but it is completely unafraid of exploration and getting interesting with its sound. It makes the project stand out amongst the legions of death metal. Yes, here there are riffs, but here there is also a portal to many other worlds, and Cosmic Putrefaction is only more than happy to blow some minds in the process.

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