Part one of a planned trilogy, Halls of Amenti is a single 19-minute track of slow, plodding doom metal. Self-described kings of "hydro-grind," Cephalic Carnage have historically dabbled in bluesy, Black Sabbath-esque swing. Here, they fully indulge this bent, with massive results. Free of the hairpin turns of their spastic, technical death metal/grindcore, the material has room to breathe. Huge, downtuned riffs march with malevolence; for once, drummer John Merryman explores his non-blastbeat chops. Although Halls is only one track, it feels like a full-length, shifting through various feels. The middle breaks down to quiet ambience only to be squashed by crushing, chugging riffs. Acoustic guitars and clean singing even drop in at one point. Lenzig Leal's screams and growls are the most expressive -- if you can call them that -- of any Cephalic Carnage record. The guitars wallow in throbbing pits of electricity, occasionally peeling off harsh, skewed lines. Cephalic Carnage are normally a shock-and-awe blitzkrieg; here, they plumb greater depths.
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AllMusic Review by Cosmo Lee