Civerous – Maze Envy

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The second album “Maze Envy” from California-based black/death metal act Civerous sees the return of the band after three years of break. As a result of hard work, the quintet set a new path for themselves in the underground scene, while the album throbs with evil blackness spewing forth a wholesomeness of decay. The band's approach hasn’t changed from the early demos “Raw Demo I”, and “Demo MMXIX”. The new outcome offers five songs plus two instrumental intermezzos that tremble a convulsing sound of blackened death metal.

Civerous was formed in 2019 by vocalist Lord Foul, Alonso Santana (guitars), Daniel Salinas (guitars), Naraka (bass), and Aidan Neuner (drums) who joined the band in 2022. After the short ominous intro, “The Azure Eye” serves a cavernous pathway to a voluminous sound of the double bass where Civerous opens a portal to the realm of darkness. The pulverizing drum beats kick off along the crushing buildup of the guitars in the next track, “Shrouded in Crystals”.

Rhythm guitars and the blasting drum reverb become encapsulated with the rumbling riffs, thick bass guitar, and the vocals vomiting forth an unknown language. Civerous packs the sophomore with nuances of death/doom, but there are some modulations of blackened death metal, and these two-dimensional elements freshly serve a dreary atmosphere. The drumming pace quickens like a bolting thunder which stirs the boisterous tremolos amid leaps of the crushing drums, the most notable element here are the vocals which somehow feel buried in the mix.

The cavernous reverb has some nuances to death doom metal acts, with the atmosphere lending an ominous backdrop to create a dark cosmic feel with the focused slow pace of the guitars and the drums. Instead, Civerous offers a breadth of experience on the sophomore. This occurs especially when the band navigates smoothly through these cosmic domains, with the song craft traversing the slow atmosphere featured in the instrumental song “Endless Symmetry”.

The slow guitar chords become the center of attraction as the guitars maneuvers to imbue a certain mood of mysticism under the thin layers of the ornamental guitar. It feels as if Civerous is channeling some kind of higher frequency from the astral dimensions. The song builds slowly to the next track, “Labyrinth Charm”, and the guitars plunge deep into progressive aesthetics as we hear more off-shot guitar solos.

The stylistic shifts continue to expand, the song also features Derek Rydquist (bassist, vocalist) who appears as a guest musician, we hear more technical refinement which seems like a twist of a more progressive death metal.

Next is “Leviathan Tomb”, it begins with a celestial guitar intro the slow chords show the depth of the composition. There are some layers of instruments that create a hypnotic atmosphere, only when the riffing and the insane drumming push towards a progressive and groove-like riffs build a momentum. This somehow leads to some experiential and atmospheric moments, though Civerous intent is to puzzle the minds with sudden twists that will keep you afloat the torrents of the riffing tides and the insane drumming has its eruptive brutal beats.

We move to the next track “Maze Envy” which brings the unique sonic style of Civerous, there are some beautiful instrumental moments but judging from the whole direction and the musical approach on the sophomore pushes the band to creativity. Some modern stylistic threads make this song a technical-ridden maze of progression and atmosphere, the breakdown moments impose slower hypnotic sections.

The talent of handling the instruments is very creative, yet there is also a harmony between the instruments and the brutal up-tempos, interestingly enough I found some parts to be very memorable, and they are swathed with moving instruments. The same can be said for the final track “Geryon (The Plummet)” which shows the sonic traits of Civerous in creating rich sonic details with its mournful atmosphere that enables a greater flow between the riffs and the slow-pacing drums.

The pulverizing charge of the double bass continues to cause havoc, while the guitars weigh in with massive riffs and the boisterous tone of the tremolos aligning with the blast beats. It is a very dramatic interplay that improvises a feeling of distress and utter sadness, and this somehow triggers the music to further mutilations and twists and brutal build-ups.


  • Music / Songwriting 7/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 7/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 8/10

Civerous’ second full-length album “Maze Envy” offers a progressive-technical level of expertise. In my opinion, the vocals could have been better if there were more death metal growls, and the album might lack the cavernous depth, but overall this is a good album from this band.

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