Monday, January 8, 2018

Circadian Ritual - Befallen (2017)

After the sun sets, men and women wearing hooded robes gather in secret before an ancient, unholy altar. They've come to worship an evil god whose name has long been forgotten, but whose obscene will still works its way through this world and through the cult formed in its image. Eventually, with enough blood sacrifice and litany the god will manifest itself and eviscerate the members of its own cult as it is wont to do, but for now the soundtrack to this macabre scene is captured by "Befallen" the newest release from Circadian Ritual. Hailing from what is evidently the grimmest city in North America - Minneapolis, Minnesota - the band's second album features five blackened doom dirges exhumed from the catacombs. These songs layer slow atmospheric doom melancholy (complete with chanting and bell chimes from the temple) with crushing extreme metal to make an oppressively heavy sound. Titanic doom riffs meld with melodies that are played in a distinctively black metal style while synthesized touches add extra depth to make a miserable but mesmerizing soundscape. The bass grumbles with these far-reaching, earthshaking low tones that make up a deep, dreary foundation for the rest of the music to play on. There are a few different vocalists on this and I have to assume that they have lungs made of tar to produce such wretched shouts while calling out their dark invocations. With the spiritual motifs and amazing execution from the band, Befallen is a transcendent force of bleak and scathing doom metal - this is an album that needs to be heard! -Brandon

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