Artist: Cyffrous Indignus
Album: Theatre of Cruelty
Release Date: 01/02/2021
Country: United States
The band hail from Denver, Colorado and play a blend of black and death metal. As mentioned, this is the band’s debut EP and I have to say it makes a solid first impression. Cyffrous Indignus is Bishop Aquinas (drums and howls), Madwolfe (guitar and scripture) and Stolas (bass) Theatre of Cruelty was recorded at the Shadow Temple in December of 2020 and was produced, mixed, and mastered by Jacob St. Amand. The album’s artwork is O.M.S. 821 and jeriannefulton.
The band play a raw and aggressive blend of black and death metal with a heavy focus on atmosphere as well as aggression. The vocals are an aggressive assault on the listener, switching between wild shrieks and more guttural howls that have a faded and echoed effect to them. The guitar work is a solid blend between black and death metal. Don’t worry you’ll get your tremolo picking, but there’s also so much more than that at play here. The drums are bombarding but varied, switching between blast beats and numerous other styles and arrangements. The bass is truly solid on the release and really resonates through the mix at times. This is one of the elements that really seems a little unusual as it doesn’t feel like standard black metal bass, bringing to mind the incredible bass work of Mayhem’s Chimera, both in tone and in technicality.
The segments on the EP where the aggression fades away and we descend into darker, more unsettling places are the highlights on the release for me. This is where things get truly menacing, where pained howls, whispers, echoed effects and muttered Satanic verses engulf the listener. These parts on the EP even though they aren’t numerous, only really featuring on tack 1 Indifference and track 4 Indoctricide give the EP a whole new depth of complexity and character and I’m extremely glad that the band included them. Don’t get me wrong I love the harsh and aggressive elements on the album too, but I love them even more when they’re contrasted with these more atmosphere focused parts.
Overall, this is a solid debut EP from the band and gives me the impression that they’ve got big things ahead of them in the future. Any band that can successfully balance rawness and aggression with dark, brooding atmosphere has a winning formula and this is no exception. So, take some time out of your day and give this a spin or two.
Listen to and order the album below: