Rating:
N/A
Encoffination - Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh
December 2010


01. Procession
02. Nefarious Yet Elegant Are The Bowels Of Hell
03. Miasma Of Rotten Serenity
04. Eucharist Of Bone And Flame
05. Interlude
06. Beyond The Grace Of Flesh Go I
07. Entombment Of The Breathing Flesh
08. Coffinpsalms


Metal is one of these musical genres where unorthodox, unconventional gems from the underground actually get a chance of having a big impact on the metal audience as a whole. Mayhem, Esoteric and Portal are just some of the bands that I can think of that achieved their notoriety out of the blue, simply because the metal audience is capable of appreciating innovative music even if it is immensely ugly and inaccessible on the surface. Unfortunately, this constant anticipation for something new and ingenious to emerge from some obscure unholy depths also occasionally results in releases that aren't really all that special receiving inordinate amounts of praise. Encoffination's Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh is one such release.

Originally released on cassette tape (yes, cassette tape), Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh made ripples large enough in the underground for Selfmadegod Records to pick up Encoffination and expose the wider world to their work on CD. Unfortunately, this is a fairly mediocre and schizophrenic album. Mixing death/doom metal with ritualistic ambient is somewhat self defeating: death/doom metal is about extreme emotions and extreme music, whereas ambient is about setting an appropriate mood and atmosphere through subdued means. Encoffination try to achieve both at the same time and fail. This is no Winter or dISEMBOWELMENT or even Moss because the music is simply not crushing enough. Likewise, the ambient qualities of this album are poorly realized and rely mainly on the sonic characteristics of the cassette tape and some silly movie and mass samples that dilute the forced menacing quality of the music. Indeed, production is of the 'very obscure' variety, with a general lack of clarity in all frequencies, over-burdening mid-range and monstrously muddy bass, as well as a considerable amount of hiss and noise. Musically, things go between slow, extreme doom passages and rolling, old school death metal that reminds me of Obituary but is far darker. This is simply not abstract enough to achieve any kind of lasting aura of ritualistic abandon and celebration of evil.

In the end, it is clear that Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh is too diluted and schizophrenic to be considered a masterpiece of the evil arts. This stuff is not as crushing as Moss, not as ritualistic as Reverorum Ib Malacht and certainly not as insane as Portal. Contrary to their best wishes, the musicians of Encoffination are not able to convince the listener to suspend disbelief and imagine that they are listening to some congregation of cannibalistic Satanic ritualists taking place in an abandoned shed. Instead, we are always aware that this is just a dopey death metal band rehearsing next door. Instead of drinking your blood, they'll have some beer.


Band profile: Encoffination
Album: Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh


 



Written on 22.01.2011 by
jupitreas
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. Privately not actually an asshole, he lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he runs his small graphic and web design business.
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Troy Killjoy - 23.01.2011 at 01:12  
The fact that this =/= diSEMBOWELMENT makes me hesitant, but I'll check it out anyway just because the styles are supposedly similar (even if not of equal value).
Merchant of Doom - 23.01.2011 at 11:44  
I think Encoffination manage to mix ambient and extreme doom/death very well. Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh is one of the extreme albums of the year, IMO. A bit sad to see such negative review on here.
Mr. Doctor - 23.01.2011 at 16:24  
Judging by what I heard in their myspace is not nearly as bad and unconvicing as Jupitreas makes the album to be. It's not as great as the bands that he mentioned, that is true. But they are not bad at what they are doing. It's not like we are full of bands like this either so I'm glad to have more stuff to listen to.
Merchant of Doom - 23.01.2011 at 18:32  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.01.2011 at 16:24

Judging by what I heard in their myspace is not nearly as bad and unconvicing as Jupitreas makes the album to be. It's not as great as the bands that he mentioned, that is true. But they are not bad at what they are doing. It's not like we are full of bands like this either so I'm glad to have more stuff to listen to.


I agree with you... what pisses me off about MS sometimes is that bands like Encoffination are slated and then some really crappy derivative technical death metal metal band is highly praised two reviews below. I understand that it's matter of taste, but occasionally a bit of perspective wouldn't go amiss... just give these reviews to people who actually understand the genre.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.01.2011 at 20:31  
I didn't hear much in this that wasn't already covered by Incantation and diSEMBOWELMENT nearly two decades ago. It isn't bad by any stretch but I don't think it's particularly all that interesting either.
Merchant of Doom - 24.01.2011 at 00:55  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.01.2011 at 20:31

I didn't hear much in this that wasn't already covered by Incantation and diSEMBOWELMENT nearly two decades ago. It isn't bad by any stretch but I don't think it's particularly all that interesting either.


nothing special, maybe, but a negative review is a bit off...
!J.O.O.E.! - 24.01.2011 at 01:02  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 24.01.2011 at 00:55

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.01.2011 at 20:31

I didn't hear much in this that wasn't already covered by Incantation and diSEMBOWELMENT nearly two decades ago. It isn't bad by any stretch but I don't think it's particularly all that interesting either.


nothing special, maybe, but a negative review is a bit off...

Well I'm pretty biased toward this kind of music, I find it to be a bit silly so I'm not really in a position to criticise.
jupitreas - 24.01.2011 at 02:54  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 23.01.2011 at 18:32

Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.01.2011 at 16:24

Judging by what I heard in their myspace is not nearly as bad and unconvicing as Jupitreas makes the album to be. It's not as great as the bands that he mentioned, that is true. But they are not bad at what they are doing. It's not like we are full of bands like this either so I'm glad to have more stuff to listen to.


I agree with you... what pisses me off about MS sometimes is that bands like Encoffination are slated and then some really crappy derivative technical death metal metal band is highly praised two reviews below. I understand that it's matter of taste, but occasionally a bit of perspective wouldn't go amiss... just give these reviews to people who actually understand the genre.


Are you talking about Calm Hatchery? Since when does saying "they're good musicians but their album is derivative" constitute high praise?
Also, you are welcome to submit your own review with your own point of view.
Merchant of Doom - 24.01.2011 at 11:34  
Written by jupitreas on 24.01.2011 at 02:54

Written by Merchant of Doom on 23.01.2011 at 18:32

Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.01.2011 at 16:24

Judging by what I heard in their myspace is not nearly as bad and unconvicing as Jupitreas makes the album to be. It's not as great as the bands that he mentioned, that is true. But they are not bad at what they are doing. It's not like we are full of bands like this either so I'm glad to have more stuff to listen to.


I agree with you... what pisses me off about MS sometimes is that bands like Encoffination are slated and then some really crappy derivative technical death metal metal band is highly praised two reviews below. I understand that it's matter of taste, but occasionally a bit of perspective wouldn't go amiss... just give these reviews to people who actually understand the genre.


Are you talking about Calm Hatchery? Since when does saying "they're good musicians but their album is derivative" constitute high praise?
Also, you are welcome to submit your own review with your own point of view.


yes, I was talking about them. Your review seems quite positive to me... you just said they are not that original... but you liked the rest...
Mr. Doctor - 24.01.2011 at 16:51  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.01.2011 at 01:02

Well I'm pretty biased toward this kind of music, I find it to be a bit silly so I'm not really in a position to criticise.


Wait, Portal is then as silly as this band. And you like Portal uh?

I'm not attacking you btw, I like Portal too but I didn't really get this comment
!J.O.O.E.! - 24.01.2011 at 16:53  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 24.01.2011 at 16:51

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.01.2011 at 01:02

Well I'm pretty biased toward this kind of music, I find it to be a bit silly so I'm not really in a position to criticise.


Wait, Portal is then as silly as this band. And you like Portal uh?

I'm not attacking you btw, I like Portal too but I didn't really get this comment

Well the difference between this band and Portal is that Portal are way more successful at creating a genuinely unpleasant atmosphere. The gargly vocals and kinda obvious construction of this one just sounds a bit forced compared to the full-on grimness of Portal. The name and imagery don't do much for this band either.
Mr. Doctor - 24.01.2011 at 16:56  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.01.2011 at 16:53

Well the difference between this band and Portal is that Portal are way more successful at creating a genuinely unpleasant atmosphere. The gargly vocals and kinda obvious construction of this one just sounds a bit forced compared to the full-on grimness of Portal. The name and imagery don't do much for this band either.


Gotcha, I agree with you.... I don't... I don't ewven know what an encoffination would look like.

I really need to get my hands on some Portal albums as well as Impentuous Ritual...
!J.O.O.E.! - 24.01.2011 at 16:59  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 24.01.2011 at 16:56

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.01.2011 at 16:53

Well the difference between this band and Portal is that Portal are way more successful at creating a genuinely unpleasant atmosphere. The gargly vocals and kinda obvious construction of this one just sounds a bit forced compared to the full-on grimness of Portal. The name and imagery don't do much for this band either.


Gotcha, I agree with you.... I don't... I don't ewven know what an encoffination would look like.

I really need to get my hands on some Portal albums as well as Impentuous Ritual...

I don't actually listen to Portal all that much these days, mainly because it's such a task to sit through such noisy bombardment. It takes a bit of psyching up to fully appreciate them.
Mr. Doctor - 24.01.2011 at 17:10  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.01.2011 at 16:59

I don't actually listen to Portal all that much these days, mainly because it's such a task to sit through such noisy bombardment. It takes a bit of psyching up to fully appreciate them.


Oh well... I enjoy sonic challenge/torture. Since all their stuff is at the same price on the website I use to buy stuff, which Portal album could you recommend me?



Damn.. this is getting offtopic, sorry Jupitreas XD
!J.O.O.E.! - 24.01.2011 at 17:19  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 24.01.2011 at 17:10

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.01.2011 at 16:59

I don't actually listen to Portal all that much these days, mainly because it's such a task to sit through such noisy bombardment. It takes a bit of psyching up to fully appreciate them.


Oh well... I enjoy sonic challenge/torture. Since all their stuff is at the same price on the website I use to buy stuff, which Portal album could you recommend me?



Damn.. this is getting offtopic, sorry Jupitreas XD

Heheh, well you can't really go wrong with Outre' or Swarth, they're both very similar in sound. Outre' is probably the logical one to start with though as it's the one I'd imagine most people would say is their favourite.

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