Earlier in 2022, the Dublin-based Coscradh released their debut album ‘Nahanagan Stadial’ on Invictus Productions. That debut followed closely on the 2021 released 7″ EP ‘Mesradh Machae’. Before that, the Irish had released a self-titled demo in 2016 as well as the ‘Of Death and Delirium’ EP from 2017 which had never been released on vinyl. Those that value a complete collection of a band’s material are happily served with a compilation of both that demo and EP on a vinyl release entitled ‘Crá Aosta’, or in English, ‘Ancient Torment’.
The sound presented on the band’s debut was a mix of Black and Death Metal, furious and chaotic in nature, which approaches the likes of Teitanblood, Blasphemy and oldest Immortal. On ‘Crá Aosta’ we get a taster of how the band came to this sound. The first four tracks on the compilation were taken from the band’s 2016 demo, which has a slightly rawer but still clear production. Opening track ‘Buried’ takes its time to build up and shows a slightly more straightforward Black Metal side of the band. The raging war sound starts to manifest itself on the subsequent ‘Lynch’ and ‘Drowned’, showing that the sound of the band on the demo from 2016 was not all that different from the debut 2022 album. On ‘Nahanagan Stadial’ the band has mostly taken steps in blending Black and Death Metal and channeling their fury in creative ways. Quite logically, the demo is a bit less refined in songwriting, but still recognizable within the Coscradh discography. Having said that, the last song off the demo, ‘Coscarṫaċ’ shows promises of that fine-tuned songwriting. Starting off in a midpaced manner, the song builds up ferocity as it progresses and has some great riffs that show the overlap with Immortal’s album `Blizzard Beasts’ that I highlighted in the review of ‘Nahanagan Stadial’. On the B side of the vinyl we find the three tracks that appeared on ‘Of Death and Delirium’. The sound on this EP is a bit more muffled and reverb-drenched than on the demo, which fits with the slightly more untamed and chaotic nature of the tracks. Closing statement ‘Saor sa hAnbháis’ is a monstrous, nearly eleven minutes long track that is almost epic in undertone with near Doom tempos and is graced with a particularly wild vocal delivery. As with the last track of the demo, this shows a band honing their craft, something that would come to fruition on the band’s debut album.
Those that appreciated the fury of Coscradh’s debut album will be pleased to find that the band’s old material compiled on ‘Crá Aosta’ might be a bit cruder, but certainly falls in line with Coscradh’s debut album. This compilation is well worth spending your euros on if you support the band and the label.