Written by Zax
Descensum – Conjure Possessions
Symphonic/Tech Death from California, USA
Released January 8th, 2021
So, we’re a month into 2021, and I hate to be negative, but it’s been a bit underwhelming thus far, as far as music goes. January is always slow for new releases, but I’m hearing a lot of stuff that’s just leaving me sort of lukewarm, not good or great, but also not bad enough to draw any kind of reaction out of me, and as a music critic, that’s really just the worst sort of record you can come across. So, last weekend, while sifting through a pile of records that weren’t really doing much for me one way or the other, I stumbled upon this gem! The artwork immediately caught my eye, but it being described to me as blackened/symphonic tech death caught my attention.
Descensum are an international act with two members, one being from the U.S. and the other being from Egypt, and this is their first project aside from a single dropped last year. So this is a very new act, although one of the members, Miguel Esparza, was previously in both Suffokate and Arkaik, and that pedigree paired with all the things I previously mentioned had me stoked to hear this… and holy shit, these guys fucking rule.
The two main members of the band actually only do the instrumentals, and they bring in guest vocalists throughout the project. The playing on this record is beyond masterful. The guitar work is really just mindblowing, it’s a beautiful barrage of complex lead work, intricate melodies, and stomping riffs. The drums are played with such impeccable speed it’s genuinely impressive. The instrumental track “Insurgence” took my breath away.
They bring in 4 guest vocalists on here, including Jared Christainson of Arkaik and Travis Bartosek of Abiotic. Each vocalist has their own distinct style, but there seems to be focus on very evil sounding mids on the project as a whole, which definitely fits the vibe.
This EP overall has a very haunting and mysterious aura to it, which just makes it so much more enticing. There’s these ominous and urgent choral vocals placed throughout the EP, and when placed aside the eerie synths, this thing just comes to life.
So yeah, if you’re looking to spice up the new year, look no further. This EP absolutely wrecks, and there’s no doubt in my mind this band has big things coming!