Ominous Crucifix (Mexico): The Spell of Damnation (FDA)
Ominous Crucifix is quite a gem. They allow the riffs to work their magic on the listener, with a steady, uptempo and midtempo style that is easy to feel the crushing heaviness. The band does not pull musical gimmicks or tricks; each song allows the listener to hear it, without depending on blasting for impact or really, anything besides just letting one’s ears absorb the music, and decide if you like it or not based on the song, not on how fast or slow they play.
In this death metal style, the vocals, drums, and riffs are clearly heard. Think, perhaps, Death’s “Leprosy,” Autopsy, Massacre, Grave and death metal that really works on the art of playing midtempo, in which the guitar riffs are all revealed to the listener. That is, Ominous Crucifix puts all their cards on the table and hides nothing because they have no fear.
Essentially, when a band plays really fast it can potentially trick the listener: the songs go so fast and they do satisfy the desire for intensity and speed on the part of the listener, but ask the listener to tell you what they just heard, and they might be at loss to tell you.Maybe you just got bamboozled. The method of overwhelming the listener with speed can easily cover up deficiencies in guitar playing, hide the drummer’s inability to keep a beat by playing monotonously and by growling so fast that all we hear is actually a loud murmur.
Ominous Crucifix is not like that and the deep, gruff vocals are actually intelligible (if you like death metal) and Mr. Rubens Nergal does the patented Tom G. Warrior “ugh!” and other such sounds. It is good to hear a band really work on the art of serious death metal growling. Of course, the guitar riffs do not go at a blazingly blinding speed, but rather are a magnet for headbanging.
I get the impression that the band has not thrown themselves 100% behind doing guitar solos, but things are good the way they are, and maybe in the future they will bust out with more guitar solos, which would be a good thing. There are some catchy riffs like on “Secular Omens of Doom” or “Primitive Sin,” but really the whole album is guitar riffs midpaced/uptempo immediate-impact-for-headbanging.
Death metal that lets the songs speak for themselves. www.facebook.com/pages/Ominous-Crucifix