Cerna - Restoring Life
Domestic Genocide
Instrumental/Post-Black Metal
8 songs (48'12'')
Release year: 2013
Cerna, Domestic Genocide
Reviewed by Jared
Surprise of the month

Cody McCoy, founder of the post-black metal band Cerna, has been rather busy since his EP release back in 2012 as well with his first full-length album entitled Restoring Life which was made available back in May. Hailing from Michigan, USA, he has also released his first album under the record label called Domestic Genocide. Cerna is an entire solo work composed by Cody himself. The last time I had listened to an album done by one individual was Aquilus’ album Griseus, and after listening, it became one of my favorite albums of all time. So this time around I got pretty excited to see yet another black metal style album that was composed by a single person. It a record to sets a gloomy atmosphere, rather than take the approach as being a rough around the edges type of black metal album. Instrumental this album is in its entirety, and overall is a pleasant experience, despite feeling a bit repetitive at times.

The album begins with a rather lengthy intro entitled, Woken in Prague, which focuses on clean guitars that sound a bit off at first but gradually finds its balance. Once the song begins to make sense, it strives to be an emotional first track filled with a sense of sadness. The album cover itself makes it pretty apparent that this album’s purpose is to dive deep into an emotional pit filled with glum tone. The overall feel of the album was a little bit harder for me to come to get use to as it is a more simple and straightforward black metal style of an album. Once the second track Shy Sun began it immediately felt along the lines of an atmospheric approach. Laying Down in the Rain, the third track, has riffs that I wouldn’t call powerful, but I would come to call them depressingly powerful . If the title on the song isn’t enough, how the song sounds itself better portrays the amount of sorrow the song strives to show.

The song Night Sounds was a bit harder to listen and get through. It basically follows the same rhythm and pattern of drums and guitar for about two minutes straight until it comes to a much laid back piano section. The song following afterwards, Embrace the Stars, is a easier to listen to, but still follows a repetitive pattern. This time acoustic guitars make up most of the track until the end where the first moments of drum blast beating is finally heard. The short burst of aggression leads into the final track Lullaby (An End to this Day). It’s a little over ten minutes long to cap off this album, and takes the albums mood to more angry levels, yet still sounding depressive. The song’s pace ranges from mid to fast throughout the entire song, and doesn’t repeat too much of the same riff patterns as previous tracks showed. It’s an enjoyable track no doubt, but made me wish more of the songs were as dominant as this track was.

The most enjoyable section of the album came with one of the bonus tracks called Restoring Life. It was the song that initially interested me to give this new band a shot. The album does have one more additional bonus track called Isa which I had not heard before prior to listening to this full length piece. Both bonus tracks are pretty good overall. Restoring life focuses more on the depressive and atmospheric style of black metal, while Isa is easily the most aggressive song on the entire album compared to the main bulk of songs that the album is compiled of.

Restoring Life took a few listens to really get into to be honest. There may be a lot of repetition, but for an instrumental black metal sound filled with depressive atmospheric feeling and emotion, it’s a pretty good find for this year. Hopefully this album has driven some huge creative juices for his follow up album which I will be looking forward to listening in the near future.

Killing Songs :
Shy Sun, Laying Down in the Rain, Lullaby (An End To This Day), Restoring Life
Jared quoted 75 / 100
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