Face of Oblivion
Cataclysmic Desolation

 

Boy Comatose Music have had a busy year!  With releases like Neurogenic Dehumanized, Desecrate the Faith and Blasphemer (to name a few) it has already been a solid and consistent run of brutal death metal.  Adding to their catalog is the 2nd studio album from Minnesota’s Face of OblivionCataclysmic Desolation is a transitional album for Face of Oblivion in moving from former vocalist James Lee (Ex-Origin) to veteran brutal gurgler Jesse Watson (Incinerate). Lee and Watson are both very different vocalists in their approach to vocal accents and patterns. While Lee’s shoes may seem impossible to fill Watson has stepped in, stepped out and really done a sick job with his work on this. Granted, Lee and Watson have two different approaches in how they approach vocals but I would say that Watson’s vocals fit Face of Oblivion’s music and style perfectly.

Face of Oblivion’s style of technical death metal is unique in that I would say they do not over play. Some may disagree with me on this but for bands like Necrophagist, or Beneath The Massacre where there is so much going on that it is difficult to catch a breath Face of Oblivion work the technical parts into the songs and aren’t relying on making every riff a scale run or arpeggio sweep. Now, don’t get me wrong there are elements of that throughout Cataclysmic Desolation but when there are they are well placed within the context of the song.

The Album kicks off with “Embracing Damnation” which immediately starts slamming and pummeling you with grinding riffs, hyper blast beats and some flashy bass work by Cole Gunther. The bass work almost feels like a third lead guitar on this track. I can definitely hear the Spawn of Possession influence on this track.  Chris Hensley and Brandon Bohlman’s dual harmony guitar work is spot on and locked in throughout the album. “Aokigahara” is one of my two favorite songs on this album.  I enjoy songs about Japanese Suicide Forests. Now, this isn’t the most blistering fast tune on the record but the way the entire tune is arranged is focused and more of a mid-tempo rager.  Eric “Ogar” Baumgard’s drum work has improved quite a bit from The Embers of Men to Cataclysmic Desolation.  Overall the entire mix is solid and you can definitely see the growth of their songwriting.

“Paradoxical Undressing” is another strong song on the record and another example of how locked in the string section is with the drummer.  “Scaphism” is probably the grooviest song and some very interesting layered riffing. “Shroud of Hypocrisy” is my other favorite track on Cataclysmic Desolation.  Starting off with a riff that teeters on almost a black metal feel there is really cool build up before hyper blasting and fretboard gymnastics kick in.   I cannot find one bad thing to say about this record.  The Cover artwork is great.  I can’t say I found any points on this album where I lost interest.  These guys keep progressing and I do not believe they plan on slowing down any soon. If you are into Suffocation, Defeated Sanity or Spawn of Possession then these guys would be a good fit for your ears.  Buy this!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
January 13th, 2017

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