Coffin Texts
The Tomb of Infinite Ritual

I feel a little bad for California’s Coffin Texts.  They released a Egyptian/Middle Eastern themed death metal album back in 2000 called Gods of Creation, Death & Afterlife, and by all counts it was a pretty solid affair. The only problem was there was also band around at the same time called Nile, maybe you’ve heard of them? And that same year they released their critically acclaimed second effort, Black Seeds of Vengeance (still my favorite Nile album), having already shook up the death metal world with their debut 2 years earlier. Well, poor old Coffin Texts, were apparently washed away in the Nile sandstorm as the media and the fans apparently only had room for one Egyptian influenced death metal act (though the bands were  slightly stylistically different), and thusly Coffin Texts were mummified and entombed for over a decade.

Well,with old school death metal, reunions and re-issues all the rage in death metal right now, two of the original members from 2000 have unearthed and unraveled the preserved corpse of Coffin Texts and given it another go 12 years later  and found themselves on one of death metal hottest labels with their long festering second album. And while Coffin Texts will never be mistaken for Nile and nor should they be, being a different sounding beast,( especially vocally where Robert Cardenas has a much more raw, gravelly old school rasp), and fans that do make that mistake again 12 years later would be missing out of a pretty solid death metal album.

First off, the Egyptian is no where near as heavy handed as Nile, as Coffin Texts render their chosen themes almost exclusively by way of the lyrics, letting Nile take care of the more pompous and theatrical side of things. There are no horns (though there is a very light synth presence here and there) or chants or super wordy titles here, and that more simple approach is reflected in the music. Musically,this less technical and overbearing than Nile (though its plenty fast at times) with a  beefier, old school Floridian death metal and I hear a lot of Disincarnate in the guitar work and structures but with some very nice hefty marches and grooves scattered around.

Admittedly, the album takes a couple of minute to grab a hold of me with an obligatory atmospheric intro (“Atum (Into the Divine Sphere)”) and an opening track that certainly initially comes across as trying to a bit Nile-y with a focus on speed and squeally, stop start riffs, and even the bridge about 2 minutes in has a familiar Nile sound to it. However, the next, more controlled lurching track “Final Transformation”, is where I really start to feel the Disincarnate vibe especially during the song’s killer, pummeling second half which recalls the classic groove from “Monarch of the Sleeping Marches”. And from there on, Coffin Texts and the album finds it’s considerable groove (literally).

While there are still  a few bursts of Nile– ish speed and complexity attempted here and there, Coffin Texts are much more impressive when slowing things down to a punishing atonal march as heard at 2:10 and 4:55 into “The Sacred Eye”, utterly head banging last three minutes of the 8 minute “Divination” (Ok, maybe there is some chanting), fucking HUGE transition at the 4 minute mark of “Throne of Genocide”, and 3:30 of closer “Deities of the prime Evil Chaos”. All, pure, neck snapping moments of death metal.

The Tomb of Infinite Ritual isn’t going to replace or compete with Nile‘s upcoming At the Gate of Setu, but fans should not expect that or try to force to comparison. Instead just appreciate is for what it is; a damn solid, heavy death metal album that also just happens to have an Egyptian flavor all of its own.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 22nd, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    it’s weird, i think I remember these guys.


  2. Commented by: sowe

    You begin the review by saying one should never mistake these guys with Nile, yet all your review is pure comparison between the both bands…


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