This is a surprisingly punishing album. For a band this young, there is an undeniable ‘Bog Body’ sound that hits you as soon as you hear it, and Cryonic Crevasse Cult is no exception. Cryptic bass and drummer duo ‘SVR’ and ‘JP’ have further distilled their blackened, raw sound to produce a fuzzed-out shard of prehistoric sludge that will chew you up.
Cryonic Crevasse Cult is Bog Body’s first full-length album off the back of the well-received Through The Burial Bog in 2018 and 2020s The Gate Of Grief.
This album retains the slant of the band’s previous work, sonically dragging you through icy ravines and arcane rites. Thematically they have delved further into the funeral rituals of early humanity, like on Mystery Of The Yaghan Bones, making this record their most primordial yet.
In terms of production, this is a much leaner showing by Bog Body, swapping lively chaos for grim reality. Bass and drum duos can struggle to have the same presence on record as they do live. Fortunately, SVR has kept the magnificent trademark heavy bass-dirge throughout. But where The Gate Of Grief offered thick buzzsaw tones, Cryonic Crevasse Cult is stripped down and a little more compressed. It is still nasty while also being infused with the band’s slick look.
One major development is that Cryonic Crevasse Cult is a lot more atmospheric than their earlier work. The raspy, bestial vocals are sunk a little deeper in the mix throughout, adding to this album’s nightmarish energy. The shifts between more classic black metal vocals and lower growls give the tracks a lot more texture, such as on the single Dregs Soar To The Skies, which is the soundtrack to a brutal ice-age sacrifice.
The raspy, bestial vocals are sunk a little deeper in the mix throughout, adding to this album’s nightmarish energy…
On their Bandcamp, Bog Body have added the ‘war doom’ tag for their sound. From the pummelling floor tom hits and colossal, crunchy bass tones it is clear where the ‘war’ is coming from. However, the sound is more nuanced than the likes of (purely for example) Antichrist Siege Machine. This is particularly on display later on the album where experimental influences come through. Ice Stained Kurgan features fantastic feedback and twisted noise-work. There are some unexpected flourishes, too. On The Temple Of The Inevitable Flame there are swaggering moments akin to a belting Fugazi track.
One spoken sample that deserves special attention is a line on Ice Stained Kurgan taken from the film The Devil All The Time, which is a gritty exploration of the 20th century southern-gothic (check it out). It may not be an intentional Easter Egg, but the similarity in tone is masterful.
Venom’s Mantas once said in an interview that he wanted his music to push itself in people’s faces and shock them. With an album this relentless, Bog Body have done a good job of taking on this fine tradition and keeping it alive and well.
Cryonic Crevasse Cult is out now on the appropriately named Profound Lore Records.
Scribed by: James Bullock