Just one look at that nerd-friendly album art, all star-flecked skies and jagged, smouldering landscapes, and it’s already clear that Cosmic Putrefaction are the real deal. Indeed, as its history will attest, there is little that encapsulates the infinite terror of space like wilfully impenetrable death metal, and whilst this (somewhat remarkably) one-man project taps into a strain of abyss-conjuring horror we have all heard before, The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers still manages to be both mightily impressive and downright weird.
At times pointedly melodic, at others magnificently raw and violent, cuts like ‘Between Awe And Fear Upon The Burst Of The Ominous Star’ (be warned, there’s some lengthy song titles here) couple Gorguts–style peculiarity and Spectral Voice’s grim, cavernous allure, with lead breaks that spiral into the void with Azagthothian levels of class, whilst ‘The Glooming Murk Of His Telluric Shrieks’ draws more comparisons with the Floridian elder-gods as it churns and heaves like Morbid Angel‘s latter day malevolence.
As said, it’s all recognisably death metal, yet as with the best our world’s ever fertile underground there is still a sense that something alien and other propels these songs forward. Even the ambient passages of ‘Abysmal Resonance Projection’ always feel like some multi-tentacled monstrosity is waiting to burst through the fissures, the record’s most sonically expansive pastures unerring informed by an underlying nightmarish disquiet. Bowing out on the frankly terrifying ‘Utterance To The Fall Of Man’ (an equal parts warped and majestic experience), and we are left in little doubt; The Horizons Towards… is an inter-dimensional treat, double dipped in Xenomorph blood and wholly in sync with our ancient fascination with the great beyond.
The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers is out now on I, Voidhanger Records. Order here.
Words: Tony Bliss