Artist: Dead Congregation
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Martyrdoom Productions
I still remember reading a Dead Congregation interview in a Metal Hammer issue, back when their debut was released in 2008. That was also the period I started getting into the harder subgenres of metal.
At some point, there was a reply that went like: death metal is not for everyone, and that's the way it should be.
This statement kind of stayed with me and made its impact to my younger self and how I decided to step forward with the band, as well as the broader style, for the years to come.
That year was also the year when the best death metal album of the 00's was released, which is Dead Congregation's debut Graves of the Archangels. I remember how it felt like the first time I listened to it, and after a decade now, it's still one of the most sincere and focused records you can get your hands on.
Six year later, "Only Ashes Remain" opens their second album and describes exactly what was left after Graves of the Archangels, for this whole time. The most crushing, menacing and familiar sound is back, with bestial (and magnificent) lyrics, ready to cause sheer terror.
I had bought this in CD when it was released. Recently, after visiting Helsinki for a day, I found it in LP format as well and decided to honor it a second time, as looking at this killer artwork in a larger scale piece is the definition of beauty.
The record was released by the band's label Martyrdoom Productions, but this specific LP is distributed by another excellent label, Norma Evangelium Diaboli.
All the track titles on the sleeve, as well as the album title, have been hand written by Kostas Protopapas, and there are lyrics by Timo Ketola (in "Schisma") and Tim Grieco from Antediluvian (in "Quintessence Maligned").
I believe this scene was first forged by Incantation in the nineties and has now been on the rise the recent years. Dead Congregation are one of the best, if not its best contributors.
If you like this, it's safe to say you like death metal, as it is in its core. Along with Cruciamentum, they are my top suggestions in this field.
Promulgation of the Fall has highlight tracks through and through, but my favorites are: "Only Ashes Remain", "Nigredo" (also spawned the brother band with the same name), "Immaculate Poison" and "Serpentskin".
1. Only Ashes Remain
2. Promulgation of the Fall
4. Quintessence Maligned
5. Immaculate Poison
8. From a Wretched Womb
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