Capharnaum - _Plague of Spirits_
by: Brian Meloon (4 out of 5)
Capharnaum return with a new demo, a more potent sound and some new ideas. There are four tracks, two new songs: "Icon of Malice" (my personal favorite) and "Become the Enemy", a reworking of "Sightless" from their previous album, and a rough, unvocalized mix of "Plague of Spirits". My main complaint with _Reality Only Fantasized_ [CoC #31] was the organization of the riffs. I felt that the songs could have been arranged better, as there were a number of development sections which abruptly changed into seemingly unrelated riffs. This release fixes that problem for the most part. These songs flow a lot better, with the segues between parts sounding a lot more natural. Their sound has changed a little bit, moving more in the direction of the ultra-brutality of Suffocation (especially the guitar tone) and moving away from the sharper distorted guitar lines of their past. While most of the music is very brutal, the band does mix it up a little bit with some melodic and/or slower passages. The guitar solos also feature a good dose of melody and show a good sense of how melody can enhance an otherwise brutal song. There isn't much that's wrong with this demo. Capharnaum have nailed all of the technical elements of the music. Now the problem that faces them is standing out above the crowd of death metal bands that sound like them. Given time -- especially considering their ages -- they should find their own voice, and appear to have a bright future ahead of them.

Contact: Capharnaum, c/o Tony Espinoza, 1204 Trout Brook Dr.,

(article published 9/12/1999)

8/31/2004 B Meloon 8 Capharnaum - Fractured
6/7/1998 B Meloon 7 Capharnaum - Reality Only Fantasized
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