Conjureth – Majestic Dissolve Review

As October enters its final weeks, the looming threat of list season and a veritable deluge of highly anticipated releases towers menacingly above. The first of those highly anticipated releases for me happens to drop on my birthday. Conjureth, an old-school death metal trio wreaking havoc from the West Coast (California, to be more specific), released one very strong short form outburst that garnered my attention last year. Now their debut Majestic Dissolve lies throbbing and evil in my waiting grasp. If there is one thing I know, it’s that no matter what else happens during the time I spend with this album going forward, I won’t be walking right for a while afterwards.

Majestic Dissolve is as old-school as it gets when it comes to dealing blows and curbing skulls. I’m talking black, steel-toed gravel-munchers wrapping around too-tight dad jeans and spiked battle vests, no shirt level olde. Riffs roll in and wreck the place in clearly defined phrases, repeating as needed to drill into your brain before moving on to the next beatdown. The drums pound cranium with insane fills and fine-cut rhythms that hearken back to the good olde days of thrash more often than not. Vocals take the form of vomit. In other words, there isn’t a single album released this year so far that embraces the death of olde as faithfully as Majestic Dissolve, and yet Conjureth make it sound so vital still.

If no-nonsense death metal is the name of the game, then these songs are professional athletes. Opener “Wet Flesh Vortex” is a tour-de-force of nasty riffs, trad-metal righteousness, and raging death. If you find it boring, you don’t like metal. Conjureth keep this metal machine in high gear with follow-up “Possession Psychosis,” which introduces thrashier fare into the mix, further positioning Majestic Dissolve firmly in early 90s methodology. Album highlights “Mutilated Spirits” and “Sorcery Arts” groove hard enough to make the Grand Canyon crumble, with the former caving in skulls via an endless barrage of high-octane riffs, the latter utilizing fretboard scales with the same whiplashing ferocity that angry dragons utilize on a daily basis when storming castles and defending their hoards. Closer “The Unworshipped” introduces a doom-metal edge, and the first major tempo shift of the album, but this band knocks it out of the park, reviving me just in time for the next spin. All across Majestic DissolveConjureth riff and shred like it’s their last day on Earth, and the sheer amount of enthusiasm and energy generated resonates deeply with this boisterous sponge.

It took about ten full spins, beating my angry fists upon that impossibly thick wall of attachment I felt for this record, before I started to notice some cracks. The most noticeable and concerning chip in Majestic Dissolve‘s gleaming armor happens to be a complete lack of bass presence. It can be felt, and at times it punches above the weight of the other guitars, but for the most part it rumbles far in the background. I shudder to imagine how immensely heavy this album would be if Conjureth afforded even just 50% more space to the bass guitar. Next to that, my biggest qualm with this album is the over-reliance on scale exercises as the foundation for riffs. On one hand, crafting riffs this way makes for a lot of easily digestible and memorable moments. On the other, it creates a certain amount of monotony to the record that cause songs like “A Terror Sacrifice,” “The Silent Hangings,” and “An Occult Mosaic” to fade into nothing over time. I also wish Conjureth wrote more tempo shifts like the one in “The Unworshipped” for songs in the middle of the album, as that introduces a much needed sense of dynamics to albums as destructive as this.

The future is bright for this young band if Majestic Dissolve is any indication. It’s precisely what I wanted out of a Conjureth debut: fast, ferocious, relentless. If it released in 1994, it would have flown off shelves like so many hell-bats. It riffs for weeks, shreds flesh like wet noodle, and boasts one helluva drum performance for good measure. All the band really needs is more variation in meter and stronger bass presence. Barring that, Conjureth is a monster, and you’d do well to fear it properly.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Labels: Memento Mori | Rotted Life Records
Websites: facebook.com/conjureth  |  conjureth.bandcamp.com
Releases Worldwide: October 25th, 2021

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