Written by: Blackie Skulless
Lately, I’m noticing a resurgence of death metal bands that really slam that “caveman” description deep into the molding foundations of the once stiff walls. More often than not, you’ll find that in many a doom/death release. Finland’s Proscription consists of band members who have been around for a while, touching many projects in their time. This one paints horrific, drawn-out doomy vocals over music that’s far more blackened death metal oriented, and the outcome is Conduit.
Before diving in head first, you need to know it’s an album that requires the right setting and mood. No distractions, little light, and the hunger for riffs that drag you deeper into the murky depths of unlight. A bit dramatic? Probably. But Proscription are all about the feeling and less about the musical makeup. The entire foundation relies on layers of tremolo picking backed by rumbling bass that can only be felt. The drums are utilized to take precedence when the guitars whine and screech, using agonizing wails to breathe out and force the rhythms behind the kit upward.
Because of this jarring makeup, it’s difficult to pinpoint standout parts. It’s better to just take in the entire thing as one massive work of destructive art. “Radiant Midnight” in particular has a meaner grit than the first few tracks, which almost acts as a boiling point. It’s very fitting, since the next track “Thy Black Nimbus Gate” settles itself back a bit, like a tide returning to sea. When things pick back up, the howling vocals worked in little at a time to coat the extreme instrumentation speeds, acting like the final surface finish. Every now and then, glimpses of slams traded off with fading single notes will break up the seemingly endless maze of rotting walls.
Understandably, Conduit is gonna have some monotony, due to using a similar build for each track. A proverbial wet brush smears it all together, resembling the abstract album art, and for that I stress again that this is only enjoyable in the right setting and frame of mind. Those seeking intricate rhythms, crushing OSDM riffs, and sharp delivery are going to be disappointed. However, if you want a disgusting dose of overbearing layers of riffing, drumming, and vocal styles, feel free to get off here. Just know, you’ll have to look for the factors that break it up. Solos with a dark shadow casted overtop and gradual changes in pace are what help this monster out.
Proscription - Conduit will be released Sept. 24th 2020 from Dark Descent Records. Preorder in multiple formats here!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!