One-man bands are ever present in the Metal world, which is probably due to the genre being so diverse and yet still strangely niche. You might like Black Metal enough to want to start a band but your other Metal friends might be more into Doom, it’s a funny old set of circumstances all this Metal business. Not to mention the ease of the internet now whereby anyone can pick up a guitar, grab some drum programming, screen down a microphone and call it ‘Lo-fi’. Truth be told this trait is more prevalent in Black Metal but there have been some notable Death Metal solo projects, Putrid Pile and Insidious Discrepancy come to my mind. Even the UK has a couple of strong one man bands in Anal Floss Is Boss and Foul Body Autopsy.
Headed up by G.G. (no not Allin R.I.P.) comes the Italian one-man force that is Cosmic Putrefaction. This is a very new concept having only taken shape in 2018. Swiftly a full length entitled At The Threshold Of The Greatest Chasm came last year and now in 2020 we see a new pasture. This comes through the band’s sophomore full length The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers. Clearly G.G. has a thing about long winded titles, but that’s just the sort of over the top attitude which I respect. So, let us plunge forth into lands unknown as we delve into the heart of this record from the ever strong I, Voidhanger Records.
Wasting absolutely no time Between Awe And Fear Upon The Burst Of The Ominous Star (note the long name) crashes in with some truly putrid vocals that sound like a gurgling pot of melted flesh and galactic command. This is of course backed with a huge ensemble of instrumentation, fast drums and thick guitar and bass riffs that flirt with the Technical at points in a sort of Demilich manner. There is a certain omnipotent and ethereal feel to this albums sound. Keeping up the guttural barbarity comes This Landscape Sublimates Oblivion To Obliteration, another epic and crushing track that feels both underground and otherworldly. It’s kind of like I can’t imagine hearing this music live in any sense but it just works so well as a full package. The Glooming Murk of His Telluric Shrieks brings in sort of haunted, dare I say cleaner vocal at its introduction, a further layer to this already over spilling cauldron of mayhem. To think this is all pulled off by one man is inspirational.
The second half is arguably the more enjoyable as it houses two of the albums more lengthy tracks, the first of which being Abysmal Resonance Projection. The longer song ideology works so well with the bands huge and damnation brewing sound. It’s like taking Triumvir Foul and injecting a little bit of Blood Incantation, a perfect symbiosis of Death Metal supremacy. The eerie ambience that appears within the track also displays some further atmospheric and hypnotic notions that add to the sort of ‘sitting at home and drinking in the music’ feel to this beautiful album. The Arcane Soothsayer Carefully Sculpted His Demise even picks up some BDM and dare I say Slam influence here and there, particularly through pinch harmonic riffs and chugging guitar sections. I mean this is a definite BDM album, but not at all in a traditional sense, more in an Incantation way, cavernous and bold. Utterance Of The Fall Of Man is absolutely everything you want from a concluding song, it’s absolutely huge in sound like a crashing star filled tsunami. The whole track is filled with abyssal wonder and atmospheric barbarity, truly a befitting end that slides off into the cosmos and leaves you feeling oddly at peace.
Death Metal in the last few years has had some strange turns, we’ve seen the tainting of BDM with Deathcore, the rise of ‘false Slam’ and the appearance of ultra ‘trve’ Death Metal in the vein of Pissgrave, Hyperdontia, Phrenelith, Tomb Mold, Kyrpts and more. Not to mention the swath of Tech through Archspire, Equipoise, Horrendous and many more. Honestly, I don’t think there has been a more exciting time to be a fan of this massive eclectic genre. Sure it isn’t for everyone, much like Metal as a whole isn’t for everyone, but that said if you can enjoy the genres many facets then you’re sure to have a great time with it and The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers is a testament to said facets in it’s all encompassing delivery.
(9/10 George Caley)