Condemned Cathedral

Billy and Jill – Razorback Records’ dynamic duo – continue to unearth gore-splattered death metal and thrash. And don’t even start with the goregrind thing, as the vast majority of Razorback acts have fallen into one or both of the aforementioned categories. Anyway, Dallas’s Decrepitaph are a fine addition to the roster and continue a recent winning streak that has included albums by Crypticus, Acid Witch, Hooded Menace, Vacant Coffin, and Revolting.

On Condemned Cathedral, the trio of Elektrokutioner (drums), Sinworm (guitar/vocals), and Daterape (bass) do indeed play “death metal the ancient way,” which in this case would be somewhere around 1990 – 1992 A.D. Specifically, the style is tried and true old school death that is rife with groove and chock full of rotting corpses, marauding zombies, and grave worms. In many ways, Condemned Cathedral is a quintessential Razorback release, as fans of everyone from Gruesome Stuff Relish to Impetigo should enjoy the hell out of this one. The sound of early Incantation can be heard as well, especially during those transitions from doom-crawl sickness to blast-beaten bludgeon (check out “Worship the Dead” for one such example). Sinworm’s vocals even have a bellowing, Onward to Golgotha thing going on, while his guitar tone is all morbid fuzz ‘n buzz.

What Decrepitaph do especially well is keep these comparatively lengthy tracks interesting by incorporating effective pace changes and basic, yet spine tingling, leads, while a crunching groove always seems to be waiting just around the corner. Sometimes it is something as simple as a lonely, sorrowful lead (several songs), or the perfect changeup to a head-banging moment on tracks such as “Dawn of the Zombie” and “The Labyrinth of Bones.” Even the nine-minute “Crawling out from the Crypt” works quite well and it does sound like musical accompaniment to an abominable creature’s crippled crawl out of the crypt. The track also includes backing vocals from Billy Nocera, Sly (Fondlecorpse), Ghoat (Father Befouled), and Leper Lasse (Hooded Menace).

As one might expect, Condemned Cathedral is more fun than a barrel of horribly burned and disfigured monkeys. Ok, bad analogy. The point is that if you’re a fan of the Razorback sound, then Condemned Cathedral is mandatory listening.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
February 24th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Shand

    this is now out on pro-cassette, cheers!

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