Transcending Obscurity Records introduces Abhorrent Dimensions, the forthcoming second album by Finland’s Sepulchral Curse, by drawing a picture of contrasts in the music — an integration of “crushing and domineering” sensations with others that are “intricate and complex” and still others that weave together “various shades of emotion” that create “engrossing tales” within the songs. Nuance, in other words, coherently co-exists with robust power, and in this way the new album represents an advance in the band’s songwriting.
Of course, as intriguing as those descriptions are, we prefer to form our own conclusions, and no doubt you prefer to form your own too. The conclusions based on the disclosure of individual songs become stepping stones toward the final judgments that will arrive after the album’s complete release, which in this case will happen on October 27th.
Today we can all take another step, courtesy of the band’s official video for the song “Onward the Legions“.
In this song the plundering thunder of the drums and the abyssal gutturals and hair-raising howls brook no dissent — they are indeed domineering and dominating. But this song is also a storm of decimating violence, dominating in a different way. The fleet-fingered riffing whirs and whines with vicious and berserk energy as the drums batter and brawl and the guitar-leads scream, creating a vortex of blistering madness.
But it turns out to be true that although the song is an exhilarating storm of aggression, the band do make room for other experiences, quelling the tumult so that beleaguered yet beguiling melodies might ring out, creating dire and distressing moods. As well, they unleash tremolo-picked furies and flash-fired soloing that cause the music to blaze in maniacal magnificence.
If the band’s object was to steal the breath away from listeners, they’ve certainly accomplished that goal with “Onward the Legions“, and the video reinforces that effect with fast-cutting scenes of the performers throwing themselves headlong into the execution, along with scenes of a menacing ritual.
There were two other steps toward the album’s release preceding the one we’ve taken today. Below we’re also including streams of those two previously released tracks, “Among the Wretched Columns” and “The Serpents of Uncreation“.
These songs reinforce the building conclusion: With their new album Sepulchral Curse have created an experience of brutalizing and exhilarating death metal power, haughty and harrowing, but they also show themselves adept at steering a veering and vaulting (and indeed elaborate) course, dynamically creating visions of chilling menace, frightening hostility, terrible splendor, and crushing despair.
What they don’t do, or only rarely, is give listeners much time to take deep breaths as these songs swallow us whole.
Vocals – Kari Kankaanpää
Guitar – Jaakko Riihimäki
Guitar – Aleksi Luukka
Bass and backing vocals – Niilas Nissilä
Drums – Johannes Rantala
Transcending Obscurity will release Abhorrent Dimensions on 8-panel digipack CD and digital formats, as well as offering lots of different apparel options and other merch, all of which feature the album’s striking cover art by Mark Erskine (Erskine Art). T.O. recommends the record for fans of Serpent of Old, Incantation, Corpsessed, Ulthar, Gorephilia, Aenigmatum, and Sulphur Aeon.
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