As much as Year of No Light are rated in underground circles, they are still underrated. Their name deserves to be up there with bands like ISIS or The Ocean in the annals of post-metal and doom. Consolamentum, twenty years into their career, is one of the best things they’ve made and one of the best things made in the genre, period. Holy fuck.
The same band we've come to love (and boy, do I love Azure) is still there, their optimistic, hopeful, powerful heart still beating underneath the added musical layers. And that's what makes all of those additions work; in other works, they'd come off as extraneous or forced, the mark of a band trying too hard to be something they're not. But here, the extra tones, the contrasts, the counterpoints, and the overall structure of the album work so well because they are in constant communication with Azure's style and their artistic direction.
Truth be told, Cerebral Rot have found themselves in a bit of a sophomore slump with Excretion of Mortality. Even at faster paces, the songs feel robbed of urgency, and the whole affair just feels labored. Those aching for a slab of pungent death metal will surely have a good time regardless, and the music is every bit as disgusting as one would hope based on the grotesque cover art.
In many ways, Fortitude would have made for a more logical step between L’Enfant Sauvage and Magma. There are moments when it feels like the culmination of everything Gojira have done before, but just as many, if not more, where they feel like they’re rehashing ideas they’ve expressed more effectively in the past, or else are held back by what came immediately before; existing in the shadow of Magma’s template, rather than naturally pushing forward.