Pulchra Morte
Ex Rosa Ceremonia

There are a lot of hard-working guys (and girls) in metal (it’s not like one band pays the bills… or 10 for that matter). I submit to you Adam Clemans as one of them. He does vocals for more bands than I can remember off the top of my head: Skeletonwitch, Wolvhammer, Noose Rot, Shaidar Logoth, and now Pulchra Morte. He originally gained my attention with Wolvhammer, but he joined a hometown favorite of mine, Skeletonwitch as their permanent vocalist and I was able to hang out with him on a couple of occasions due to one of my best friends running FOH for them on a Canadian tour. Let’s just say, when it comes to metal vocals, his hands and things are often in the same place at the same time.

So, let’s get started with the opener, a very strong track called “The Serpent’s Choir.” The choir itself contains some heavy hitters from Exhumed, 1349, and Immolation to name just a few. The song itself is of the death/doom variety, but has a strong sludgy vibe, too. The vocals of the so-called choir itself fit well and give this solid opener high marks.

Another early standout is track 3, which is called “Knife of the Will.” To add to the Paradise Lost vibes given off by that album cover, the vocals in the chorus here do the same. Adam’s passionate vocals and sparse cleans in this track help differentiate it from the others on display so far.

I know I have mentioned clean vocals already once, but let’s talk about them more! Maybe this is why Ex Rosa Ceremonia has stood out to me quite a bit so far from the rest of the death doom pack. Tracks 5 and 6, “Prince Among Shadows” and “The Archer & The Noose,” respectively include them, although in a different way. They’re more of the, let’s say weeping variety in the former, whereas female vocals make an appearance in the latter.

After all this, we still haven’t mentioned my favorite track, which is the seventh one, “To Suffer (The Way You Do).” The chorus once again carries the track, but the build up to add a certain dirty f bomb near the end builds some strong emphasis. Solid work.

So, guys, this is pretty good. I could just leave it there. The production is a little on the dirty side, shall we say, but in a good way. It brings out that sludge vibe mentioned earlier. In a year filled with what has now become my wheelhouse, the death doom world, this one is stacking up to be one of my favorites and you should do yourself a friggin’ service by checking it out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
January 5th, 2021


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