ÆNIGMATUM - Deconsecrate

03 Aug 2021 - Thorsten

Blackened Death Metal | 20 Buck Spin | Release date: 13 Aug 2021

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Deconsecrate means to take away the sanctity of a certain ground – for example a church or a cemetery. Thus one should not expect holy music on a record of that name, especially not if it’s released by 20 Buck Spin, a perfect location for Progressive Blackened Death Metal.

ÆNIGMATUM come from Portland, Oregon – the mecca for music offside the usual tracks, even though that might have been said like a trillion times by now. Bands like Red Fang, Folian or Tchornobog affirm this all the time by releasing rewarding records in very different genres. This quartet might be next in line with their Death Metal which is ambitious and well-coordinated, music-wise and genre-wise, for it’s rhythmicality reminds one a little bit like Gothenburg in the mid-90s but at the same time it’s very modern American Death Metal, for example from fellow Portlandians Witch Vomit or the whole Denver-scene.

The band doesn’t need a lot of time to show their skills – the opening track ”Forged From Bedlam” needs six seconds and roughly one thousand beats to show the world what an animal will be leading the groove army during the next 45 minutes. Pierce Williams is as good a drummer as any you will find in this genre and assisted by bass player Brian Rush this makes for a brilliant rhythm section which cannot only blast the listener away but can also give him enough space to breathe so that the harsh attacks seem even bigger and more mind-boggling than before. After those six seconds the riffs kick in and show the world that this will not be a simple lesson in Prog-Metal but much more. A much rougher onslaught of the ears and experiences follows and exemplifies the qualities of ÆNIGMATUM – this track really seems to have been forced to life in a (mental) asylum.

Guitarists Kelly McLaughlin and Eli Lundgren do a tremendous job creating the mood somewhere between the apocalypse and the aftermath, but never giving up on some progressive, technical aspects of the genre. Even if it’s only a short prog solo as in the second track ”Undaunted Hereafter” or some highly atmospheric layering as in the interlude ”Floods Within A Splintered Cortex” where Brian Rush’s synth contributions really shimmer through strongest and then lead to the next track ”Larker, Sanguine Phantom”.

Thematically all the songs show that all our former actions will be worthless when the end comes, no matter how good you have been. We will all be “deconsecrated” when facing the ”Undaunted Hereafter” (which is also the second track). There is no need to try to place the good versus the evil, God versus Satan, us versus them. We will all meet our end alone together. The last track might serve as a final proof for this thesis: ”Animus Reflection” - the reflection of the mind and let’s be clear on this: You can reflect on the nature of God, but your mind will not find a rational explanation for it. Therefore, all our “faults” and all our attempts to do good will not do us any worse or better in the end.

This pretty anti-religious idea is given with the help of some really blackened guitar structures leading us from the path of the righteous into chaos, but through a maze that one will never come out alive. However, maybe this is also one the best things to do when listening to Deconsecrate - do not try to follow all the leads thrown but just go with the flow of this well-laid out Prog-Tech Death Metal record served by another great band from Portland, Oregon.