December’s Cold Winter—Ablaze All Shrines (2008)

December's Cold Winter—Ablaze All Shrines (2008)

December’s Cold Winter—Ablaze All Shrines (2008)

Details

Recorded, engineered, mixed and produced by Max Gutierrez at Cavan Studios, Heredis, Costa Rica from May to October 2008. Mastered by Esteban Rojas at Cisma Productions, Alajuela, Costa Rica. Released on Envenomed label in 2008.

www.decemberscoldwinter.com

Band

  • Alfredo Guzman—Vocals
  • Isak Arroyo—Guitars
  • Max Gutierrez—Guitars
  • Esteban Gonzalez—Bass guitar
  • Allan Chaves—Drums

Tracks

  1. Envenomed cult
  2. Your sordid pride
  3. Ablaze all shrines
  4. Black garden’s sculptures
  5. Manipulating human emotions
  6. Kings of lie
  7. Consequences

Review

This is the Costa Rican band’s second full-length album as December’s Cold Winter; the following year they changed their name to Advent of Bedlam.

Uh-oh! This album starts with a strange recording of a group of people reciting the Lord’s Prayer, which then disappears into a wall of noise and the kind of mildly-melodic death metal gurgle that was popular back in early nineties. Welcome to track number one, “Envenomed cult”. As a Christian, it’s never really a good sign if an album opens with a recording of Christian worship. You just know what’s coming next. Or at least you would if you could understand the guttural vocals. Thank the Lord for the lyrics in the CD inset booklet; or at least thank someone, I’m not sure the Lord gets much praise on this album. It’s the same old boring taunts, labelling Christians as mindless, deluded liars. Yawn!

I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t really connect with this album from the start. Not because of its anti-Christian position, there are actually quite a few bands whose music I do really like (Ancient VVisdom, Morbid Angel, Dead Congregation). The music just left me as cold as a… you know.

I’ve listened to the album twice through now, and like a few other albums on this project it became background noise. I’ve heard it all before: metronomic drums, melodic riffs, throaty vocals. The seven songs could all quite easily be editing into one Meshuggah-challenging epic song. Epic in the sense of going on for a long time. Disappointing really.

Conclusion

Perhaps I may have warmed to this album had I listened to it more often. But I doubt it. This may be the shortest review I’ve rolled out yet, but it’s by far not the worst score. This was for me generic, off-the-shelf death metal by numbers. But it was still nicer background music than some of the other offerings here. Not exactly a glowing recommendation, but like the album it could have been worse.

Review score: 60%

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