Kult Mogił is getting name-checked with the likes of Bölzer and Portal, which are fair comparisons in their own way, but if you go into this expecting smothering blackened death metal like Portal, you may be pleasantly surprised. I like Portal, but sometimes their storm is a bit too much for a full album's worth. Kult Mogił's Anxiety Never Descending takes a different path.
The production here is raw, but yet all the instruments are clearly separated in the mix. Even the vocals, instead of settling into a typically impenetrable death-growl, mostly stick to a harsh rasp, letting bits of the vocals come through clearly. It's an appropriately nasty sound for a band whose name translates to "cult of graves," but it crushes musically instead of overwhelming with layers. The guitar parts are a favorite of mine. Chugging riffs are contrasted with windy dissonance; the different lines push and pull, sometimes acting as counterpoint, sometimes as a creepy call and response. Check out the pure Sabbath-y goodness at the start of "Serene Pond," which is promptly punctuated with a staccato riff and well-placed percussion blasts. The whole album is a play on contrasts, where doomy riffs meet freight-train percussion, while maintaining that cemetery vibe throughout.
If there's one misstep in the album, it's the penultimate song, "The Width of a Forehead." The song's droning core is a solid one, but it's saddled with an overly long intro and outro that a five-minute track just can't support, and for me, the energy ultimately fizzles out. Luckily, this is all washed away by the album's closer, "Palliative Messiah." It's the longest song here, but it never loses momentum. It makes a slow build with plenty of dueling guitar lines before coming to a brief and complete halt, and then exploding again into an ever-increasing intensity. It's a great ride, and a fitting end to one of the more interesting death metal albums I've heard for a while.
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