Published May 27, 2014It's been six years since Greek death metal vivisectionists Dead Congregation released their debut Graves of the Archangels to massive acclaim, which many cite as a prime example of old-school death metal ferocity executed with new viciousness, sophistication and technique. Influenced by Incantation and Immolation but twisted and made somehow harder and meaner, their first record was an exquisite balance between violence and sophistication, succumbing neither to mindless brutality nor technical navel-gazing. While Promulgation of the Fall can't take advantage of the element of surprise, burdened with the weight of expectation, the record is no less brilliant, displaying exquisite technical refinement.
As glorious as the riffs are, the drumming steals the show here, elemental and mind-altering in its simultaneous precision and ravenousness. The transitions on the album in particular are something to behold, such as the way that the title track opens like a wound and gives way to the massive, crawling "Serpentskin," or the way the ecstatic violence of "Nigredo" shudders, hunches and splits into "Schisma." Located firmly in the liminal space between the abject and the sublime, the fascinatingly repulsive and the awfully beautiful, Promulgation of the Fall is a rare death metal accomplishment. (Profound Lore)