Chronologically following the back catalogue of Mexican’s Death Metal masters Cenotaph, Chaos Records now offers its reissue treatment to their third record, 1996’s “Epic Rites (9 Epic Tales and Death Rites)”. An absolute illustration of what “underrated” stands for, Cenotaph had sonically everything to ascend to the pantheon of the Death Metal gods. Fate or ill luck didn’t provide such recognition and exposure, yet the released output lives on to eternity and proves the sheer potential of such legacy. After two excellent full-lengths, “Epic Rites (…)” is conclusively the opus in Cenotaph’s career. Through a sound carved with equal measures of bleakness and melody, one faces a maelstrom of thundering riffs and lead guitar visceral passion where the Nordic inspired blackened coldness – not unlike the earlier creations of bands such as At The Gates or Dissection – shines the most. The epicness of the six-string work is enhanced by a drum performance which is, in correspondingly effective portions, diverse and intricate with a genuine organic skill. The pulse of the rhythmic section is heightened by a superb bass guitar performance, utterly tasteful and whirling, whose notes flow with a refined attack. The mid-tempo parts work wonders thru a more traditional type of heavy metal riffing, furious yet catchy without losing the aura of misery and gloom that permeates throughout the entirety of the album, with a perfect example of such atmosphere displayed on the acoustic moments, mesmerizing and obscurely enchanting. Alongside the wholly of the instrumental mastery, there’s the anguish carried on the vocals, a performance which carries the lyrical grief and torment raging back at the listener with a vengeance. Sonically, “Epic Rites (…)” purveys a thin yet commanding sound with a crude edge that provides the ambition of the arrangements a lively and dynamic effect.
With a revised sound and artwork, Chaos Records delivers a more than deserved blissful effort to a truly classic tome that shall feast all enthusiasts of true Metal of Death.
Cenotaph (MX) - Epic Rites ((9 Epic Tales & Death Rites) CD