Focusing on the subjects of ancient magics and conspiracy theories, it’s hard to know what to make of Pulchra Morte‘s biography. We shall see if they give us some spiritual uplifting and deep revelations in their latest release, ‘Ex Rosa Ceremonia’.
Blending classic death metal with drudge of slow paced beats, opener ‘The Serpent’s Choir’ is slightly timid in its stance, and even with visceral roars and screams it doesn’t quite hit the mark of truly terrifying or bone chillingly gruesome.
Inserting a lighter injection of clean vocals, Adam Clemans displays his dexterity and creativity in ‘Knife Of The Will’, balancing his croaking death roars against ominous pure utterances that are a nice change from the constant batterings of bleakness.
Takings things a step further, ‘Prince Among Shadows’ begins with uplifting synths and voices showing it isn’t all one giant disaster piece, but while it’s often honed back to the safe grounds of riling riffs, the juxtaposition of styles is continued to include acoustic guitars and operatic synths that make this the most accomplished and varied track.
Mashing the light and dark together, ‘The Archer & The Noose’ expands to include angelic voices and deep spirals of metalcore. It pushes the envelope just one step too far towards the cheesey side when the change over comes in, but it isn’t unpleasant and it’s good that other realms are being explored.
The titular and closing track blasts with black metal riffs from Jeffrey Breden and Jarrett Pritchard, who at times have an understated style that harks to back to the rough edges of early projects. Still, having a bit more ferocity and intensity couldn’t hurt to really launch the band to the next level.
Stuck between classic metal genres and attempting to infuse different elements hasn’t quite come off, and in turn ‘Ex Rosa Ceremonia’ just lacks a little bit of a punch or aggression to make it tip the scales the other way.