The Darkness Has Been Evoked
Only one year Remains needed to record a successor after mindcrushing debut “Angels Burned”. Fast doings and here I have “Evoking Darkness” before my eyes. And to put it briefly nothing has been changed: ten songs and one cover, the same label and recording studio, fantastic cover made by Raul Gonzalez this time, and the most important, if the line-up is concerned, only a drummer is a new face on the board. And while playing the first seconds of the opener “Dead Breed” I’m not dignifiedly invited by intro tunes just like on the debut, in the twinkling of the eye I am nailed to the ground! Well, well, I didn’t expect such an outbreak and massive furious sound cannonade striking my mind without any mercy. But, what is interesting, such fast tempo killer is an exception here. The production-wise is a bit different, I mean it is not so raw as compared to the debut, however its big advantage refers to the more vivid way of sound realization. I dare say if the “Angels Burned” reeked a smell of decaying, here I’ve got something curling, something ready to devour my senses in a slow but effective way…
Anyway musically I deal with death metal played the old-school way, yet the production luckily is a flat denial to the Sunlight / Skogsberg tone, so commonly overused nowadays. That’s true that entombedish “Clandestine” and “Wolverine Blues” reminiscences appear from time to time with genial parts in “The Darkness” (from 2:42 and 3:10), the beginning of “Pray & Shot” and the middle and ending fragments in “Wolf’s Pray”. Or just take a listen to the great “Human’s Darkest Creation” (with whispers!). But those influences aren’t the only thing I admire this beast. The musicians condensed the tunes, atmosphere became muggy yet still awestricken. You know, something similar to Incantation’s “Diabolical Conquest” or Spanish Graveyard. Although writing about these names doesn’t mean Remains duplicate more known acts. No, absolutely no, because Miguel & the crew can perfectly unite all pieces of the puzzle, spitting the purest form of death out. And there is no chance to be bored. The four emissaries of darkness spread musical infection with a heavy blow, grinding the neurons without any all-time blasts. I can’t be wrong: the band grew strong becoming a killing machine. Voice of Miguel seems to raise from the unknown crypt, and maybe it’s even deeper a bit, with apogee in “Atrocities” especially about 1:45 when I have impression he pukes his lungs up. A splendid while based upon such well-known parts of riffs. And yes, besides the first song, the tempos are varied here, guitarists took care of the well-thought riffs and leads. And maybe if the bass lines haven’t been marked the same way like on the debut, they whip my bones. The next praises go to the drummer Enrique, not only for a great opening in “Pray & Shot”, but for the solo in the middle of “Death Dealer”, which is completely unexpected while listening to this murderous track. His classic performance really impressed me.
And the more I listen to “Evoking Darkness”, the more I worship it. Howsoever my start with the album wasn’t a love at first sight. The music was evolving in my mind rather slowly, showing its potential successively with “R’lyeh” song as the best example (these hidden-like melodious guitar parts…). Now, after many spins, I turned out into being a slave of this darkness and I cannot live without it. So, can I gloze that this album is free from defects? No, I can’t, I am afraid. On the start I wrote about a cover song. And this is not “Morbid Visions” by Sepultura, it’s “Embraced by Moonlight” recorded by Centinex originally. No matter if I always considered Swedes as of secondary importance band that has been spawned in the land of Sweden, but all I wanna say is that Remains scored an own goal. This song is very mediocre, supported by the melody lines I really don’t like and it definitely doesn’t fit to the entirety, softening needlessly the thing and giving really unpleasant impression on the end. After smashing “Death Dealer”, the eleventh appears as a pop music radio hit. I’m just angry at this ending as I always review albums as a whole. Aaaa! It’s like a root canal treatment being hung over. All right, let’s leave it behind and put the button stop after song with number ten…
Well, it seems I started to boil myself, so let’s turn the fire down and do some conclusions. The irrefutable fact is that Mexicans recorded the best stuff to date. Their maturity struts around in a right direction. And it’s great to hear such music the young Mexican blood can deliver, you know, maybe I’m not Nyasasaurus parringtoni of the present scene as my first meeting with death metal was in 1991 (yep, “Left Hand Path”), but I can value another band executing this form of deathly art. Surely the third full-length will be a challenging task for the band. I do hope they will manage to give another splendid album, but without any ruining cover. Full consent, guys? And on the end, let me quote some Horace’s suggestion: eheu, fugaces labuntur anni. It stands to reason, so don’t hesitate anymore, put a hand on this slab and let the darkness possess your senses. I beg for more!
(written in September, 2015)