Release Date: 21 June 2019
Format Reviewed: Digital stream
English is a funny old language, cobbled together from various sources as and when it suits. So while barely knowing a word of French does make French Canadian band SEDIMENTUM a bit of a mystery to me on the surface, I think some text is close enough that I can pick up on the general vibe of this their very first demo. So here’s what I’ve got: Sediment, encephalitis, mummification, decimation and torment. Plus I think their bandcamp page is saying something about humanity falling into an abyss and laying in a tomb. Maybe I haven’t got that all 100%, but certainly as a little word association exercise my list above feels like how I could describe what the band seems to be evoking on the four songs that make up their demo.
What sounds like howling wind rushing through a cave alongside a crackling fire, introduces the first track “L’océan Encéphalique”, before a burst of guitar feedback ushers in a pummelling flurry of double bass pedalling and chugging guitars so deep they’ll pull you down into the earth. Once the guttural vocals make their entrance I’m reminded just a bit of DEMILICH. There’s none of the angular, jerking rhythms of the great Finnish band, but the feeling that I’m listening to the rumbling utterances of a huge lumbering beast from deep in the catacombs of the earth put this association in my mind. The pace is mid-tempo and the feel is heeeeeeeeeavy, the chugging riffs making way for a mid-track breakdown, as the band stretches out, the vocals sounding like a deep echo of the previously heard wind, insistently raging through whatever catacombs this creature inhabits. A tempo shift up through the gears and a brief manic, grimy guitar solo, bring the first track to a close.
“Momifié Dans La Vase” keeps the momentum up, with the track at first driven by a cacophonous rampage of drums before reeling in the pace to a monstrous crawl. Being as this is a demo, don’t be surprised that the overall sound on this recording is murky, but that’s not to the detriment of the music, in fact it fits the atmosphere perfectly. On “Décimation Lente” the drumming somehow becomes even more battering, while the band nicely alternates between dragging, chugging and thundering tempos. In the times when the band chooses to lock into a chugging rhythm it’s real head nodding stuff. Satisfyingly overdriven, heavy and dirty.
With the final track “Un Cycle Tourmenté” the band really lets the overdriven ambience of the guitars envelop the whole track and again the band expertly alternates between pounding, stomping riffs and bursts of speedier attacks. Some tormented screams offer a nice counterpoint to the deep, growling that describes most of the vocals. For the most part the bass isn’t really distinct, though I have the sense that it is all the while adding a thick texture to the rich, deep sound the band has achieved. In fact as the final track draws to a close the guitars fall back and we’re left with a great brooding bass and drum outro, before that too gives way to some sinister ambience deep from within the tombs that neatly fits in with the very start of the demo. Altogether we’re left with the sense that the music of these four tracks really was pulled out of the depths of the catacombs.
With very little information readily available about the band members (the most I could discover online were that they’re a four-piece going by the monikers M.L., N.C., U.N. and A.E.) it’s easy to give in to the impression that this demo just burst from deep within the bowels of the earth. It’s a fitting impression to have from this great example of disgusting, dirty, dragging, rumbling, cavernous, death metal. More please! 8.5/10 Tom
8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory
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