Sepulchral Curse – Only Ashes Remain

Band: Sepulchral Curse
Title: Only Ashes Remain
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Release date: 31 July 2020
Country: Finland
Format reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

It’s not often that I sit and look at my screen for a long time without really knowing what to write after having listened to my pick for the week. It’s not necessarily because there is something wrong with it, it just feels like all my brain cells have decided to go on a vacation at the same time all of a sudden.

Sepulchral Curse have previously release two EPs back in 2014 and 2016, but now it’s finally time to see the release of their debut full length album on the 31st of this month titled “Only Ashes Remain” and from the opening track “From Within the Bowels of the Earth to judge its mostly straight forward, heavy death metal with black metal influences. The guitars are heavy and melodic and the vocals range from deep growls to high shrieking screams. Swarming Blackness opens with dark and menacing intro with an evil sounding guitar riff but what the two tracks definitely have in common is diversity. The changes between different segments and even genres are interesting to hear and made it somewhat different from the material other similar bands have produced lately.

From a pretty fast track, changing from two-stroke beats to blast beats and a bit over the top vocals, we get to “Eyes Inside which is slower and a bit more lurking. it was an interesting move to break things off a bit but I would have preferred the drum toms to have a better sound as they can barely be heard, which was a shame since that intro could have taken some more steps up on the heavy scale with a bit more thunder to back it all up.

“Church of Loss does not feel like it has much new to offer but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting. the same fast, heavy and melodic black/death metal with interesting drumming and riffs are all there just like the first four tracks offered but there is also that playfulness present that reminds me of bands like Finntroll. “Man Tuhkien Uneen closes this debut and is the only track that is well over the usual playtime, clocking it at just over 11 minutes. It’s obviously slower than the rest of the tracks but the same sound is ever present and the changes within those 11 minutes are welcome in order to keep it interesting for as long as it does.

All in all as a debut it’s strong although it lacks the usual things that debuts often have such as expensive production, tight-as-nails performance and so forth. But what it lacks in polish it gains in playfulness and songwriting. It’s not brilliant, but it’s strong enough to stand on its own in a genre that is easy to get for most fans of extreme metal, and a great start for these guys. I think we need to keep an eye out for them in the future. 6.5/10 Julia Katrin

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6.5/10 We may survive!
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