CHARNEL ALTAR "Abatement of the Sun"

By Dr. Abner Mality

URRGGGHH! If music can get more bestial and subterranean than what CHARNEL ALTAR come up with here, I don't want to hear it. This is death metal at its grossest and most primal.

It is strongly related to the "cavernous" style influenced by old INCANTATION, CEREBRAL ROT, DEAD CONGREGATION and the like, but it seems to go an extra step further down the ladder yet. Not so much as "cavernous" as "abyssal". The depraved Aussies favor long songs that sound like they were recorded at the bottom of a well, often in a draggy, doomy mode with riffs that are even more sticky and fetid than the bands mentioned above. The first two tracks "Grave Totem" and "Vexation of Sorrow" are the most twisted and repulsive, but also the most impactful.

In a way, CHARNEL ALTAR kind of blow their wad on those first two tracks, because the remaining four tunes settle into a subtly more "typical" cavernous mode, with each track sounding fairly similar to the others. The "vocals" (really stretching the term by using it here) are pretty much the incomprehensible mush-mouth roar from the center of a black hole that you would expect of a band such as this. I seriously doubt if any "lyrics" are actually being used at all...just beast-like moans and groans.

This is really only for true seekers of death/doom depravity. If SIX FEET UNDER is your idea of sick, run a mile if you see this coming.