Letanías Del Exorcismo
(Canometal Records)

Chile and its capital city Santiago has became something of a hotbed for underground Doom bands in recent years with PROCESSION leading the pack into battle against modern false Metal. CODEX GIGAS (who are named after the CANDLEMASS song of the same I presume) deliver a solid, atmospheric and very eclectic sounding debut album in the shape of "Letanias Del Exorcismo" and it’s a musical melting pot of different heavy styles but its overall core sound is unmistakably rooted in early BLACK SABBATH and traditional classic Doom Metal with some obvious nods to 70s Hardrock. The band mix up the tempos throughout and quite often go into sections that bounce and groove along before dipping back into a slower more brooding part. The vocals are strong and confident in their delivery full of warbling and commanding vibrato. The music oozes SABBATHian heaviness and epic solemnity with the emphasis being on simplistic and straight forward heavy crunching riffing, forsaking any modern technicality in favour of an old school stripped down, raw and earthy approach to their instrumental execution and songwriting. And the overall sound is as organic as the earth these musicians walk on but powerful and dynamic in equal measure. The drumming is solid and hard hitting and the bass is weighty which perfectly compliment the guitar work. They come across like a more quirkier and experimental REVEREND BIZARRE in parts with an interesting use of a brass instrument in a couple sections which is an oddity in such music and one this writer is still not overly convinced about. But it definetly adds a different dimension to their doom! Another immediate noticeable difference is that the vocals are sang in their native Spanish speaking tongue which also adds a rather unique quality to this recording. There is a duo of acoustic tracks back to back in the latter half of the album in the shape of ‘Luzbell’ and ‘Quimera Alquimica’ which add some extra atmosphere to proceedings. And these tracks are where the vocals become a hugely effective focal point and really come into their own with excellent and memorable rich sounding vocal melodies soaring over the music. This theme continues into the following title track momentarily before bursting back into a heavier riffing section which pounds along at a snail pace with the vocals leading the funereal dirge. The band utilise more acoustic passages in the second of last track and it’s these sections which really showcase a band forging their own style and not afraid to cross over genre boundaries. The closing track is very ritualistic sounding with very captivating and chanting vocals which sound like they are invoking some infernal deity and a morose brooding riff and slow pummeling drum beat pushes the song along at a crawl. There’s a very energetic live feel to this album overall and it is evident that the heavier and more harder tracks will suit the stage and have heads banging and fists pumping. CODEX GIGAS combine a fusion of various styles which grows on you slowly but surely after a few listens. It will be interesting to see how the band evolve their sound on the next recording, also more cowbell please!,

Kat “Shevil” Gillham

Kat "Shevil" Gillham

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