Emblazoned – Eucharistae Sacramentum (2014) – Well, it’s not much longer than last year’s EP The Living Magisterium but the newest album from Milwaukee black deathers Emblazoned comes off quite promising. It’s not quite as punchy as the EP, but it shows the band experimenting with a few new things and that’s never a bad thing, even though there is one little hiccup to be found on the disc. But let me get to that one later. First off, we’ve got “Malefic Congregation 3:04” which is a bit short, but it gets the point across. You’ve got pummeling death metal backed with a healthy dose of rock salt and a tiny little sting from the backing vocals when necessary. Obviously these guys are trying to dig a little into the progressive metal reserves, and that might upset a few people – but it’s still quite heavy, so don’t fucking complain when some atmosphere is being thrown into the mix. It keeps things from being boring. “Heathenist Structure 3:06” shows a bit more fury from the drummer and utilizes a bit more groove. There’s a slight nod to blackened doom and then straight-up black metal, which certainly doesn’t hurt. Maybe a small breakdown near the end, but it’s still a solid track. Featherless Predecessor 4:07 really pounds down after it starts up with a vigorous display of drumming, sort of managing to balance out the two styles rather well. More or less the same effect is achieved in “The Deceiver 3:26” which shows that these guys are certainly trying their hardest to meld death and black together, while allowing each to have their designated places on the album. It’s a little bit of peanut butter and a little bit of chocolate basically. So if you love both, then that’s a plus. As for that big fucking basher you wanted? Well, that’s “Perdition 3:39.” The track offers nothing but thick groove and gravel, just the way Entombed, Grave and Unleashed used to make. Okay, so there’s a little bit of that black metal influence here; but it doesn’t sound so much like a black metal song and that’s refreshing. As for the big old frozen black metal track, that’s “Wolven Shroud 2:30” which also gets a chance to be a Cannibal Corpse number at the same time, so everybody’s happy. Oddly enough, the band treat us to a long instrumental called “Iniquitous 6:28.” which is actually quite satisfying in its multitude of textural changes, but it might have been a bit nicer with vocals. This actually sees the band at their absolute fiercest, which kind of makes me scratch my head and wonder why the rest of the disc doesn’t sound quite a boisterous as this track. But if this is a sign of things to come, then I’ll certainly take it. The album ends with “Divine Delusion 4:00” which manages to much of the same, but has a damn fine time doing it. It’s not anything that we haven’t already heard from the album, but it’s not a bad note to end the disc out with. There are also no intros or ending piano pieces like with most discs of this nature. There’s no final quote either, just the end of the song.
At half an hour of playing time, Eucharistiae Sacramentum provides ample amounts of black and death metal, along with some other methods of experimentation. I don’t think it left as much of an impact on me as the EP, but it’s certainly not a bad offering and I’m sure that these guys will gain some fans from it. Definitely give it a spin if you like your black and death in a finely mixed pot, because that’s what these guys do best.
(8 Tracks, 30:00)