The phrase ‘crushing doom’ was made for a band like Onirophagus. Well, ‘crushing death/doom’ is more accurate I suppose, but it probably doesn’t matter too much. The operative word here is ‘crushing’.
For reasons that I can’t quite articulate, I’ve been really looking forward to listening to Endarkenment (Illumination Through Putrefaction) ever since I found out it existed. Something about the description in the promo blurb, and a recommendation from someone I know, coupled with the epic-length of the tracks and the album cover and logo, really spiked my expectations.
Endarkenment (Illumination Through Putrefaction) contains four tracks with a total duration of 58 minutes. It may be a lengthy listen, but mostly holds attention through the quality of the music and the performances.
Boasting three guitarists, there’s a depth of delivery and songwriting here that’s arguably more involved than that of some of the band’s peers. The music is rooted in the old-school, but updated with more contemporary influences too. Think a mix of bands such as Ophis, Mournful Congregation, Paradise Lost, and My Dying Bride for starters, then mix in some added death metal, and even some black metal elements too here and there.
Heavy and dark, the guitars, (crushing guitars), are evocative and emotive. The band do well to layer their monolithic creations in places, and know how to exploit a good macabre melody when they need to. The oft-neglected bass has a decent presence, and the deep growls of the singer seem to reach down into your soul.
The songs may be long, but they are relatively varied for this sort of thing. Many death/doom bands neglect the first half of the subgenre appellation, but Onirophagus play at various speeds and demonstrate a good grasp of structuring and composition to make the most of their influences. As mentioned above, there’s also a slight black metal influence here and there, although this is a minor aspect of their sound overall.
Although possibly a little overlong in places, Endarkenment (Illumination Through Putrefaction) has largely satisfied my needs for this sort of music. It’s actually a little different than I was initially expecting, (it has more variety, melody, and depth), but this turns out to be a very good thing.
Give this a listen at full volume.