OMINOUS CRUCIFIX, The Spell of Damnation (2012, F.D.A. Rekotz)
This all started with a photo of a ghastly scene painted in the alcove of some church, and the weird incongruity of the votive candles beneath a violent image of the damned, framed by gothic stonework, would have made for a perfectly excellent cover on its own. But this was not enough for Onimous Crucifix. Presented with the photo, they said, “¡No, se necesita una cavalera!” So then the artist spent about five minutes in Photoshop to paste a skull on top of the photo, and he presented it to the band again for review. “¡Ahora necesita una serpiente!” “¿Una serpiente, también?” the artist asked, exasperated, but he was already back in Photoshop, cramming a snake into the skull’s eyehole. How did it get in there? Who knows, and who cares. The photo was already ruined, so if they want a snake, they can have a fucking snake. “¿Es bueno?” “Es muy malo! Gracias!”
Considering how overly processed and artificial-sounding most modern death metal has become, it’s nice to hear some good, old fashioned, by-the-numbers material like this, played by dudes who just don’t care if their timing is not perfect and their drumming without flams. This is mid-paced stuff that reminds me more than anything of the old Dutch band Thanatos, although this being Mexican death metal, you can also expect at least a little Deicide in the mix. The riffs are unpretentious but interesting, and the guitar solos tend toward gratuitous whammy workouts, with nary a sweep in sight. It’s marvelous. Of course, a little of this sort of thing goes a long way, at least for me, and I’m not sure if this is so good that I’d consider adding it to the period classics of the style that are already in my collection, but honestly, I’m tempted nevertheless. This is a rock-solid album that sounds evil in the way the best old death metal did, before it was taken over by nerds with 7-string guitars. Me gusta.
— Friar Johnsen