June 1st, 2011
Release length: 13:31
The audio here is rather crisp, but presents a very dark and cold atmosphere. The guitars are a bit on the cleaner side, but still heavy, and definitely works to set up the grim environments. The bass guitar ends up rather deep, adding to the crushing sound of the release, and backing up the slight click of the bass kicks. The cymbals carry a nice echo to them that aids the haunting tone of the release, and the tighter snares end up doing the same thing. Finally there’s the varied rhaspier vocals mixed with the more predominant moaning gutturals that stand out over everything, and quite often match the mood the music is creating.
“Halo of Syringes” really eats up most of the time on this release, and for good reason. The seven minutes and forty-one seconds track is a cold, trudging piece of Death Metal that sometimes walks the line between this style and Doom Metal. It kicks off with a brief spoken word audio sample, then immediately kicks in with a crash, ushering in the haunting slower paced riffs and moaning rhaspy vocal approach that one might expect of the undead. The deeper you go, you can pick up on subtle changes that increase the speed, such as tighter double bass kicks, as well as riffs that aren’t held as long, or become a little more intricate. All of this increases the general heaviness of the track as well. By the five minute mark, it all comes crashing down, slowing the pace once more with a beat that feels as if you are crawling to your own death that intensifies the longer you prolong it through the lead chords, as well as the increased moaning.
The rest of Halo of Syringes remains pretty consistant with the title track, except for the atmosphere. “Shattered Hourglass” gives off a bit of a chill, especially in the guitar solo, but the somewhat slower track does find some faster areas that usher in a little more intensity. The start, however, leads in with a false promise of some early Groove fueled Death Metal. This one also incorporates some keyboards in the background as you reach the end, which does tie in some of the haunting atmospheres from the previous track, something that can still be felt without their help. However, “Detaching…” shows a great appreciation to the melancholic Depressive Black Metal world. The clean guitar and bass chords introduce a truly somber world that will immediately fill you with sadness, while heavily distorted chords from an electric guitar are podded down into the background to add a little more creepiness to the instrumental with riffs that sometimes sound like fingers gliding down the neck while the distortion is amped to a very sharp output.
For being only three songs, Halo of Syringes shows more promise for Cerekloth than their debut EP or demo have provided. These may only be three songs, but the slower-paced material and closing instrumental really become captivating due to the atmospheres they create, and even the emotional toll they can take on the listener, remaining consistant from start to end. If you enjoyed the debut EP Pandemonium Prayers in any way, you simply must pick up a copy of Halo of Syringes. This EP will bump Cerekloth to the top of the list of bands who need to issue a full-length album already and stop teasing with various EP recordings.
01. Halo of Syringes – 7:41
02. Shattered Hourglass – 3:30
03. Detaching… – 2:20
|Initial Pressing Score: 10/10