Infera Bruo – Cerement
Released: OUT NOW via Prosthetic Records
Galen // Guitars & Lead Vocals
Ardroth // Drums & Vocals
Germanicus // Synths & Effects
Neutrino // Bass & Vocals
Every time a new black metal album is released, it’s tricky to get hooked straight away. Unless it’s Gaerea style explosiveness or Imperial Triumphant levels of unique, there is always a sense of familiarity about listening to this certain genre. Saying that, when Cerement begins, it is with these small steps of familiarity instead of leaps and bounds. But boy oh boy, as the album progresses, it picks up speed until it is galloping right across your brain and into your long term memory.
‘Poison Waters’ is the introduction to the album, and besides starting the album off on a bit of a confusing note, it makes you instantly aware the production on this album is absolutely stellar. Every single note plucked on the acoustic guitar rings out like a harp every single hit of the cymbals sounds crisp and immediately discernible. The wonderful production follows through the entire album as well, lending a particularly unsettling edge to the synths as they contend with the guitars. This is not your father’s black metal sound.
The first tracker proper, ‘Shroud of Enigma’ is a mixture of catchy riffs and acerbic vocals pulsating throughout the entirety of the song, straining to an almost shattering climax before slipping back down to the underlying ambience that runs throughout the whole of Cerement. Despite the technicality of the music, the song and album structures feel very simple. The introduction is jarring, as is the following interlude ‘Effigy of Reason.’ Instead of creating tension or atmosphere, it just bogs down the entire affair.
This is not to say the songs are not enjoyable. ‘Endnotes’ and ‘Lunar Pass’ are strongly reminiscent of Der Weg Einer Freiheit or Emperor. Technicality abounds in these tracks; solos interject at every turn before seamlessly slipping into a tremolo section layered with… clean vocals! You better believe it. They sound amazing too. Angelic, and soaring, the vocals contrast nicely with the icy riffs and pounding snare that are vying for your attention, not before being overrun with absolutely animalistic screeching. This is the absolute high point of the album.
The rest of the album, whilst not bad, is not memorable, and to cap it all off, is book ended between another interlude. The ambient sections make a lot more sense after the initial listen, but they still fail to positively add anything on the level that Drudkh or Carach Angren’s long drawn out sections succeed in doing.
Infera Bruo have crafted something quite unique; the clean vocals and progressive instrumentation show musicianship of the highest order. Cerement is by no means a bad album, but there are a lot of aspects stopping it from being a great album.
Reviewed by: Dylonov Tomasivich
Cerement – Tracklist
1. Poison Waters
2. Shroud Enigma
3. Effigy of Reason
5. The Lunar Pass
6. Draped In Sky