|#FOR FANS OF: Death/Black|
This short four-track EP by a burgeoning Finnish blackened death metal band shows a well-rounded songwriting approach and a great handle at conjuring imagery through its lyrics. For a band so wet behind the ears, it's great to hear such focused sound that fits its theme like a glove. Sepulchral Curse isn't exactly reinventing the wheel here but the band is offering some satisfying and unique sounding death metal with a couple of black metal accouterments.
Right out the gate in “Envisioned in Scars” the mix of Gothenburg and black metal harmonies joins the cavernous calls of a throaty guttural to create an impactful ensemble that reaches beyond what's expected in your average blackened death metal. The imaginative lyrics and moments of unusually bouncing drum beats keep the song's cycling fresh and aids the rising intensity of the winding guitars. At times this EP sounds like it's channeling the likes of In Flames for direction as a riff like the rising “In Purifying Essence” uplifts an opening that ranged from metalcore moments reminiscent of Shadows Fall and As I Lay Dying tapping into thrashier roots to cavernous neck-breaking riffs similar to Dismember. The biggest drawback to 'At the Onset of Extinction' is too much blending at times in the guitars, making it difficult to fully appreciate them behind the prominent drumming and overpowering vocals. Even with that small problem, the drums are easily audible and their rapidly changing time signatures keep a firm grounding to the winding riffs, like when “Gospel of Bones” wails above moments of oldschool death metal churning to the frantic pace expected from black metal's urgency. The lyrics to the final song, “Disrupting Lights of Extinction” make mentions of a certain Countess that we all know and love in as much of a wink to the audience as a display of remorseless horror to be inflicted upon a hapless foe. The band is good and self-aware as well as unusually adept at drawing the listener into its intense theme without losing focus on a solo or throwing a change-up that takes you out of the moment.
In all, Sepulchral Curse has a good handle on songwriting, creating some unique guitar moments that stand out with their Swedish death metal segments. The drumming is top notch and the vocals fit the theme of this EP precisely. The band could tighten up some of its more drawn out openings that tend to repeat a few times too many and definitely needs better recording equipment, but that doesn't take away from the quality effort that has been shown in this release. (Five_Nails)
(Trascending Obscurity Records - 2016)