Civerous – Maze Envy

When I look at the cover of Maze Envy, Civerous’s second album, the name Morbid Angel immediately comes to mind. The color scheme and design reminds me of the Domination cover, with that purple pentagram. Here it has become more of a maze to be envious of. But will we also be impressed by the death metal of this quintet? There is no review of the debut album, so it won’t spoil anything for me, as this is the Americans’ first appearance on Zware Metalen.


Well, don’t expect Morbid Angel, and I’ll add right away: thankfully not! Too many clones are going around already, and I am actually looking for something unique. I haven’t quite found that with Civerous, but what are we dealing here then? Well, raging dissonant blackened death, if you ask me. The band doesn’t beat around the bush but manages to captivate with a track like Labyrinth Charm (featuring vocal contributions from Derek Rydquist of The Zenith Passage, ex-The Faceless). Furthermore, I cannot help but notice that the music itself manages to contain an uninterrupted tension that creeps under the skin, especially through means of little guitar details. Just listen to those delightful underground riffs during Levitation Tomb. The overwhelming pounding and beating combined with sufficient tempo changes certainly leave an impression but the vocals crush everything into even more finely milled rubble.

I really appreciate the recording and production as well; this is how a blackened death metal album should sound: full of impact, a hint of grain, and intense distortion on everything that makes any sound. The title track is exemplary for this. The Americans don’t even need to rely on speed to pulverize everything and everyone without unnecessary fancy adornments. And oh dear… when that enormous schwung and groove kick in, it’s just a matter of waiting for a portion of granite hard blasts. Damn, this is a drummer who has complete control over the chaos and gives his companions the space to shine. I’d like to mention in particular the erratic and peristaltic bass riffs and the melodic passages (on violin?). What a painfully intense track!

Closing track Geryon (The Plummet) provides a more classic ending to this work of extreme art, although we certainly can’t accuse the band of sounding like simple death metal from the old school textbooks. Leaving aside nuances and nods to the old times that can definitely be heard throughout the album. Nevertheless, Civerous has unleashed a beast of an album on the world with plenty of space for Lord Foul’s immensely brutal vocals and an arsenal of inspiring riffs. Am I impressed? Absolutely!




20 Buck Spin Records, 2024


  1. The Azure Eye
  2. Shrouded in Crystals
  3. Endless Symmetry
  4. Labyrinth Charm (featuring Derek Rydquist)
  5. Levitation Tomb
  6. Maze Envy
  7. Geryon (The Plummet)


  • Lord Foul – Vocals
  • Daniel Salinas – Guitars
  • Alonso Santana – Guitars
  • Drew Horton – Bass
  • Aidan Neuner – Drums