Caedes Cruenta - Ερείπια ψυχών
Helter Skelter
Black Metal
8 songs (48'29")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex

Ερείπια ψυχών (Ruins of Souls) is not a new album by Greeks Caedes Cruenta, but rather a reissue from 2014. It also happens to be the band’s last full length in a while, Caedes Cruenta members busy with Kawir and have just formed a blackened thrash outfit Walpurgia. With the original seeing only limited 500 copies release I think the chances are good you never heard of Caedes Cruenta (I know I didn’t). Time to fill the knowledge gap, especially if you like Greek black metal in the same way I do.

The original impression of Ερείπια ψυχών wasn’t entirely the Greek black metal I expected to hear. After immersion into hellish cauldron with introductory Ροκανίζουσιν κουκία : Το θανατικό, all of its screams, moans and checking guitar tuneage, The Mystical Ritual of the Dark Priests isn’t steeped narration or epic unfolding either. Instead, with its loads of tremolo riffs and blastbeat, the song takes decidedly riffing path, sometimes flying off melodic handle. Slowing down to gain maturity, but without losing energy, The Mystical Ritual of the Dark Priests continued along the lines of blackened thrash with its pulsating rhythms and restless guitars. So I have settled into more grim energy, Northern Europe of early 90s rawness, as well as blasting and guitar machine gun surges to continue. Under the Shadow of Death did that, originally, but then in the middle of it I suddenly recognized the discipline to stick to Hellenic melody, very Kawir-like, and an atmospheric moment carefully draped with synths. Later on Aura of Immortal Souls made return to scraping the ugly bottom and picture of Hell, but the overwhelming conclusion is that Caedes Cruenta manages to straddle that fine line of early 90s black metal physicality and Greek epic nature of this extreme genre. Guitar riffs in Εκεί όπου τραγουδά η νεκροκεφαλή ( Where the Skull Sings) continue to grumble, but midpace melodic swells are now more obvious, and melodic parts in From the Darkest Paths of Golgotha, blast guided and all, are particularly attractive. Lost Kingdom of the Argead King, just like Under the Shadow of Death, touches on an atmospheric moment and some synth sonics above the fray, while The Crescent Symbol of the Apocalypse concludes in a particularly entranced, winged and elevated fashion.

If you wanted Greek character in black metal, mystic and epic, but without symphonics, large production, and with healthy heaping of thrash Caedes Cruenta is that band. Not punk (like Dodsferd), and not latter day monumental Rotting Christ or narrative Varathron, a rougher early days Kawir or Necromantia is a proper analogy. Prepare to handle physical bass lines and lots of choppy textured guitars. If the latter, being constant throughout the album, is something you don’t necessarily appreciate, focus on the overlying melodic character of the album after you learn to spot it sometime midway through.

Killing Songs :
Εκεί όπου τραγουδά η νεκροκεφαλή, From the Darkest Paths of Golgotha, The Crescent Symbol of the Apocalypse
Alex quoted 80 / 100
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