January 21, 2024

Acerus is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Daniel Corchado, whom you may also know as the leader of death metal veterans The Chasm. While the latter has been raising eyebrows with their highly unique brand of epic, atmospheric, technical death metal since 1992, Acerus is a totally different beast. We are talking about heavy-power metal of the US school, reminiscent of early Iced Earth and early Jag Panzer with a touch of the melancholy and mysteriousness of Manilla Road.

Corchado recorded and released the first two full lengths in 2013 and 2016 with a different line-up (The Clock Of Mortality largely on his own), until he assembled a steady band in 2018 for the recordings of the amazing third album The Tertiary Rite, which was released in 2020. By then, his musical and conceptual vision have been fully developed, but that mentioned third album displayed an amazing leap in quality on all fronts, which was to a large extent due to the contribution of a skilled melodic vocalist like Esteban Pena. Almost 4 years later, the same line-up has been preserved for the recordings of The Caliginous Serenade, which will arrive next week.

The album was once again recorded in Acerus’ own studio in Chicago and produced, mixed and mastered entirely by Corchado, who is also the author of all music and lyrics. Tracks like Dying Consciousness Of An Old God, Falling Vision or Preparation are essential Acerus, showing from the very start all the band’s strengths: melodic, yet heavy, layered guitars, super tight rhythm section and fantastic vocals by Pena. The new songs are maybe not as thrashy as in previous albums, but there are more nuances and mystical atmosphere to dive into. Towards The Enigma Of No Return is a total US power metal epic of the highest caliber, built upon the meandering trademark riffs of Corchado and further embellished with killer solos. The second half of the album is even better than the first, with every following song a masterclass in metal. The vocals in Prevail and in The Fourth Pentacle (my personal favorite) are full of emotion and the phrasing compliments in a magical way the instrumental parts. Imagine a gathering round the campfire, with an ancient traveler from forgotten lands telling tales of might, magic and tragedy – both frightening and captivating. That’s what Acerus are successfully achieving through the art of music.

The title track is a ten-minute-long epic culmination of everything so far – it has to be heard to be experienced. Acerus is not a band for the average listener, nor is its music suitable of playing silently in the background. You have to immerse yourself in each of these fantastic songs and transcend into their world. The Caliginous Serenade is an album for true metal connoisseurs (which Velvet Thunder readers undoubtedly are), an album which reveals its magnificence layer by layer with every new listen. Pure class.

10/10


Check out The Serpent Is King from the new album HERE

Acerus in Facebook (they are sharing the same profile as The Chasm)

Acerus in Instagram

The Caliginous Serenade will be out on January 26th via Nameless Grave Records and can be ordered from HERE