Three years after the previous Fragilium, Consecration, an English band with a solid and convincing death doom sound, are back with their third full length. Their geographical origin suggests a contiguity with those who decoded these sounds at the beginning of the nineties, so it’s not a sin to find references to the first Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride (the latter completely cleaned of any gothic or romantic nuance). Cinis is quite a challenging album to listen to, because almost an hour of a rocky and monolithic sound like the one offered by the Norwich band is not for everyone. Having said that, those who are used to these sounds will enjoy being annihilated by asphyxiating slowdowns, in which melody is not banished, and death accelerations that leave no way out. Sometimes the sound takes partially more accessible paths, at least rhythmically (a good example is Ground to Ashes), while in the longer tracks space is sometimes given to acoustic passages that are useful to break up the leaden atmosphere. Here, in my opinion, Consecration are at their best in the more concise tracks (without taking into account the two instrumental fragments), because by stretching beyond eight to nine minutes the sound tends to become slightly dispersive; nothing serious or irreparable, but for example the opener The Dweller in the Tumulus and A Sentient Haunting, which push close to those limits without going beyond them, prove more effective than valid but diluted episodes such as Embrace of Perpetual Mourning or These Fleeting Memories (the exception in this respect being the remarkable Unto the Earth Bethralled). On the whole, Consecration proves to be a band capable of handling this genre with care and skill: Daniel Bollans steers clear of clean temptations and rages with his impeccable growl, while the guitar work of Liam Houseago and Andrew Matthews proves to be effective even in the sparing solo passages. All of the aforementioned characteristics make Cinis a highly recommended listen for those who appreciate, in particular, British old school death doom.

2022 – Redefining Darkness Records / Life After Death