Muknal are a blackened death metal band from the USA and this is a vinyl reissue of their three track demo released earlier in 2012.

Opening track ‘Cruciation’ begins with brooding deathly riffs and some obscure sci-fi noises created on the guitar which are pretty cool. As the track develops abyssic growls and screams erupt over blasted drums and guttural guitars. The overall sound is quite murky, like everything has a shit load of reverb on it, but it actually works quite well and provides a certain amount of atmosphere to the sound. At times it appears as though there are synths present, but I’m certain it’s just guitar reverb. It reminds me somewhat of Mithras.

Onto the second track ‘Rotten Genesis’ which begins in a more doom fashion for a couple of minutes, before returning to the murky blasting and echoing roars. There’s some pretty impressive, albeit muffled, double kick here too. There’s quite an old school vibe going on at times here too, mainly in the simplicity of some of the riffing. The likes of Incantation and Autopsy spring to mind. There’s also some more obscure guitar noises making an appearance in spates, again reminiscent of Mithras.

The third and final song ‘Eidolon’ is a little more technical than the first two but follows much the same trends. In large part, thanks to the production, this little release is packed full of evil obscurity and is strangely atmospheric for a death metal release. It certainly possesses a uniqueness and for that I have to give credit where it’s due.

If you fancy checking out something a little different, but also something a little familiar, then check out Muknal. [8/10 – JOHN DOE]