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Apocalypsis Damnare

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Album Review

Considered extreme even within a musical style defined by extremism, Long Island's Rigor Sardonicous built their reputation upon 1999's quasi-legendary Apocalypse Damnare — a subterranean study of sound as grotesque and inaccessible as has ever been attempted in the funeral doom field. Prepare yourselves, the band's true vision is only revealed after the elegiac, almost stately, three-minute organ intro that is "Exordium" — when the icy, funeral fog of the title track unloads seismically crusty riffs, decaying drums, and inhuman glottal vibrations whose lyrics naturally foretell of a fate grimmer than death for mankind, naturally. Multiply this by the six similarly oppressive and virtually indiscernible (bowel) "movements" that follow, and one's growing sense of being sucked into an airless void threatens to collapse the entire album unto itself. Were it not for the nerve-jarring cymbal crashes that punctuate these murky depths every so often, average music fans will probably slip into an irreversible coma by halftime — if not sooner. The same, if reading this, will obviously surmise that all of the above represents a clear dis of this tortuous doom album, but all things are relative when it comes to extreme art. Knowledgeable doom enthusiasts will simultaneously understand that Apocalypse Damnare represents a singular extrapolation of their favored musical formula, and should rightly waste no time checking it out and letting their very sanity be put in check by its uncompromising sounds. Musical masochism at its best! [Six years after its original release, Rigor Sardonicous re-recorded Apocalypse Damnare from scratch (with the help of onetime Evoken bassist Steve Moran) and reissued it through Paragon Records.]


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Rigor Sardonicous are Joseph J. Fogarazzo (vocals/guitar) and Glenn Hampton (bass) -- two Long Island natives committed to unearthing the darkest, deepest funereal doom sounds imaginable since coming together in 1988. The fact that they've only managed to record two albums (1999's Apocalypsis Damnare and 2004's Principia Sardonica) and one 2002 split EP during the ensuing 18 years is further testament to the uncompromising stance of their self-described "raw apocalyptic doom." This draws inspiration...
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Apocalypsis Damnare, Rigor Sardonicous
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