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Recently, we at Metal Trenches have had an influx of some pretty cool one-man black metal acts. That being said, Mendacium is a modern blackened death metal project straight out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The band, which is run single-handedly by Daniel Jackson (notable for Void Ritual), is relatively new...with this being their debut EP. Jackson writes all of the project's lyrics and songs as well as records all vocals and instruments, which is something to admire.
Decimating Titans serves as a four track first EP for Mendacium. Initially released independently as a three track demo through Bandcamp back in November of last year, this release is now available via Redefining Darkness Records, an Ohio-based extreme music label, now with an added bonus track. While Decimating Titans is merely fifteen or so minutes in length, it makes up for it in content. The EP mixes black and death metal efficiently and also features themes of barbaric violence as well as revenge against a corrupt, destructive and oppressive society. Additionally, Jackson cites earlier black metal acts like Immortal and Emperor as inspirations.
The EP wastes no time in getting right into the jams. The opening self-titled track is fast paced three minute blackened extreme metal madness. The shredding power chords and tremolo picking combined with the destructive drumming patterns and high pitched shrieks give the song a sort of energetic, old school vibe. While the first track is overall pretty typical black metal, it is still a fun introduction and makes for a catchy listener due to its structuring, atmosphere and dynamic feel.
The following track titled "An Invocation For Bloodshed" is the EP's lengthiest composition at around five minutes. The formula and structure is similar to the previous track, alebit with some guitar riffs and sections being different. The transitions work well and the production quality seems to be consistent throughout the track as well as the EP itself. Again, the fast pacing is still there along with the blast beats. The strongest parts of the second track are the main riff as well as the background ambiance added in.
The latter two tracks of Decimating Titans are the better ones in my opinion, with "Make No Grave in My Name" ultimately being my personal fave because of its build up and riffing. These two tracks feel a tad more innovative and catchy, especially in the vocal and string department. Overall, the EP, while repetitive and cliche at times, kept me attentive and pretty entertained for its duration. The nostalgic black and death metal feel of the final product helps a lot with this. However, I do wish there were a few little things added in some parts, such as a shift in tempo or a solo perhaps. The vocals are mostly flawless but the instrumentals, while competent, feel like they are missing something sometimes.
In conclusion, Decimating Titans comes out as a stellar debut EP especially when you take in consideration that this was all made possible by one person. Yes, it is not the most diverse in sound or the most innovative; but, for what it's worth, the musicianship, kvlt aesthetics mixed with death metal themes, decent structuring and energetic performance all come together to make for a brief yet entertaining little listen. In all, it is a very strong first impression and has lots of promise...so you have to give the man props for that.
Fave Track: "Make No Grave in My Name"
For Fans Of: Old school & kvlt black metal as well as blackened death
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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