Cimmerian hails from Chicago, Illinois. They formed up as a "melodic death metal" band in 2010 and released their first full length album, Infinite Perdition, in December of 2011. Now I put their genre in quotes because I believe this is just the general term for these guys. After giving this album a few listens, I can say that they border along the lines of the melodic death metal and sometimes transcend to progressive death metal. If you aren't sure what progressive death metal might be like, you can check out 7 Horns 7 Eyes, who easily chart my top albums of 2012 with their release of Throes of Absolution. Infinite Perdition reminded me so much of that album, and to be quite honest I wish I had found this album when it was released.
As stated before, this album borders genres. You won't find it to be chaotic bordering, but instead transitions between progression and regression. The elements of death metal are present. The progression lies in the guitar play and melodies. Instead of the driven riffs you'd find in melodic death metal, you will be introduced to soaring, almost cloud-like sounds that somehow emanate from the guitar. The structures also feel very different from the normal melodic death metal as well.
"Deafening Admission" is a great starter track, that plays an introduction which sounds eerily familiar to something Metallica has done before with calmer tracks. The ever so familiar death vocals erupt from the calm. That airy feeling from the guitars, as mentioned above, immediately take a stand. They are greatly reinforced from the drumming, complimenting heavily on the rhythm established by the band. Everything flows in this track, even the guitar solo. The outro ends the track just as it entered. Calm and serene.
Now, you wouldn't think to hear any sort of doom influence in this album, but you do. "Desolate" borders many genres within the first minute. The ever so devastating doom riffs to a sudden change of pace with guitar playing that sounds like something from a black metal track. "Desolate" gets a bit more primal and dark than a lot of the other tracks, and becomes one of my top favorites.
"Confounding Delusions" has the combination of the melodic death metal riffs, fused with the backbone of black metal serving as the introduction. Again, you're presented with most of the same formula as before during the "choruses". The rich and somewhat over the top guitar solo in the middle of the track contains that bit of surprise factor to it. You don't expect it. The other-worldly vocals are bone-chilling to say the least. They create a whole new dimension by themselves.
The fourth track of this opus takes some risk. The rhythm is driving, taking out the above mentioned melodic flavor out of the mix and pushing out more of the forceful and darkened aura. You'll hear somewhat of that black metal influence yet again, sometimes very faint. "Haunting Contrition" feels just like that. The sinister sound in the beginning doesn't prepare you for the very ominous passage to follow after. It feels like everything is out of key, like it barely fits. This whole new atmosphere can be very confusing the first time around. "Barshnee a ba" pushes this even further, with a more raw sound than before. This darkened section of the album really shows the different sides of the spectrum for Cimmerian.
As we near the last moments of the album, I have to say that this album is dynamically spectacular. Listening to Infinite Perdition, I never found myself bored, or wanting to skip to the next track. These sort of albums always seem to be a diamond in the rough of sorts, especially with a lot of emerging bands constantly replicating sounds done for the longest of times. Although the style and practice seems somewhat monotonous, you have to hear beyond the first layer to really get the energy and feeling. There is a story told in each track, and each track is just one part of the overall journey. The last two tracks are no exception, as they feel and sound like an ending to an incredible piece of work.
Overall, I love this album. The adventure that this album gives the listener is on a sort of epic scale that you don't get with a lot of other releases. 2011 could have used a lot more of this, and I mean that wholeheartedly. Yet, thinking about it, I also think releases like this lead to 2012 being a great year for the metal scene as well. It is a double-edged sword so to speak. I can't wait to hear the new material that these guys come up with. If I remember right, they are working on that right now! Now hopefully I can get my hands on a physical release of sorts.
Rating - 9/10
Release Date - December 13th, 2011
Website - http://cimmerianband.bandcamp.com/album/infinite-perdition
1. Deafening Admission
3. Confounding Delusions
4. Haunting Contrition
5. Barshnee a ba
6. Sincere Beginnings
7. Distant Revelation
Dean Nagel - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Evan Dale - Guitar/Live Backing Vocals
Tim Nagel - Bassist
Drew Goddard - Session Drummer
Thursday, December 13, 2012