December's Cold Winter

Ablaze All Shrines

Self Financed 2008

Extreme metal comes forth from all places across the globe including the birthplace of December's Cold Winter, Costa Rica.  Ablaze All Shrines is aggressive from the outset with hints of melody and some tight drumming.  Envenomed Cult blasts through some brutal death metal but opens to reveal melodic riffing adding dimensions of added intensity and dare I say, catchiness, within the ferocious firestorm.  Alfredo's vocals are brutal and sound layered or teamed up with an additional vocalist.  Though faster in tempo the opening riff to Your Sordid Pride has a really doomy feel to it and black metal shrieks rip though the darkened mood like a banshee.  The guttural death metal vocals then smash in the door like a battering ram.  The song ends with Slayer-esque thrash riffing that throttles the eardrums until nothing but complete submission remains.  My favorite track remains Black Garden's Scriptures with its distinctive main melody that bridges blasts of chugging guitars and drumming insanity.  Kings of Lie continues to illustrate DCW's ability to effortlessly sew together and shift between styles as Floridian death metal brutality smashes headlong into trilling Gothenburg melodies.  A smooth guitar lead surfaces against  a barrage of crisp drum work only to reveal an early At the Gates sense of melody.  Despite being from the metal wastelands of Costa Rica the album is surprisingly well produced with sharp and thick instrumentation all throughout.  DCW have managed to construct an album that is simultaneously beautiful and deadly.  Ablaze All Shrines stands out amongst a backdrop of overly technical death metal or bands draped with an old school aesthetic.  Completely modern in sound and style but without succumbing to the traps of lifeless nerd metal or blandly commercial melodicism.