Oh look, Hate Eternal has a new album on the way. Sweet, let’s see how long it takes before I run out of adjectives to describe brutal Death Metal. On Upon Desolate Sands (Season of Mist) I think I made it to ‘Portal of Myriad’ only to realize I was running on fumes. I’m not sure what kind of pact Erik Rutan struck up with Cthulu, but it’s given him access to enough pulverizing song ideas to power seven long-players and produce countless Death Metal standouts. Continue reading
In recent times there seems to have been a near endless influx of overtly technical, progressive metal bands, all seemingly trying to prove more complex than the next and in too often the case at the expensive of actual, memorable songs. New outfit Alkaloid do have a few aces up their sleeves however; namely Christian Muenzner and Hannes Grossman, formerly of tech masters Obscura. Joining them is a cast of huge pedigree containing members of the likes of Aborted, Noneuclid and Dark Fortress.
Debut album The Malkuth Grimoire (Apostasy) certainly proves a bold statement of intent, proving insanely complex throughout as it constantly veers through death metal, more melodic passages and even a Between The Buried & Me sense of jazz progression at times, ever changing throughout. ‘Cthulhu’ proves one of the albums more straightforward offerings with a mostly traditional death/doom metal foundation with layers of futuristic keys and notes on top. As technically impressive as it all is, it does require your full attention and several listens to begin to fully grasp and take it all in, and with its huge duration that in itself can be a tricky undertaking.
It may not be a ground breaking album in and of itself, as many its components and influences are easy to trace, many of which coming from its own alumni. That being said, it is all pulled off with precision and culminates in a promising debut, with enough skill involved to become a true heavyweight in the progressive Metal genre. Far from the most catchy or accessible, and its running time comes close to the ridiculous, but regardless, a very strong and very cohesive effort from an all star cast with a huge pedigree.
Originally released last year on truer-than-thou label Iron Bonehead Productions on 12” vinyl, multi-national three-piece Sepulchral Temple evidently thought their debut self-titled EP hadn’t reached enough ears, so 2014 sees a CD release on Invictus Productions. Featuring new artwork along with a couple of rather pointless outro tracks tacked on after each song, this re-issue is still a welcome treat, for Sepulchral Temple is an act with lots of potential. Playing the kind of Incantation-worshipping, ancient sounding Death Metal popularised by the likes of Grave Miasma and Cruciamentum, the two lengthy tracks on Sepulchral Temple reveal more with each listen and have their own distinct identity.
First track ‘Salvific Dance’ begins with a weird, high-pitched lead melody, gut-wrenching screams and a sinister marching riff that draws the listener deep into the bowels of the temple before the pace and intensity dramatically increases. The tempo then varies from bone-rattling speed to doom-leaden crawl while the deranged vocals contribute to the overbearing atmosphere of Lovecraftian madness.
The self-titled second track is much more aggressive with its repetitive vocal lines and sinister marching riff giving proceedings a ceremonial feel. Imagine Dead Congregation and Necros Christos summoning an ancient, evil god in a filth-smeared shrine and you have an idea of what’s going on here.
While this kind of Death Metal is gaining in prominence with several bands popping up recently who are eager to demonstrate just how worn out their copies of Onward to Golgotha (Relapse) are, we shouldn’t complain for the grim atmosphere and sense of macabre dread lurking in these recordings are necessary to ensure that this genre remains extreme and underground. Sepulchral Temple may be a little late to the ceremony but they deserve their place at the altar all the same.