Sulphurous – The Black Mouth of Sepulchre

Band: Sulphurous
Title: The Black Mouth of Sepulchre
Label: Me Saco Un Ojo Records
Release Date: 24 October 2021
Country: Denmark
Format Reviewed: Digital Stream

Sometimes a release comes along where the name of the band absolutely fits perfectly to the sound of the record and everything else around it. The Black Mouth of Sepulchre by Copenhagen, Denmark’s Sulphurous is surely one such case. A band name that suggests a burning strength erupting from the bowels of the earth, an album title that evokes some all consuming Lovecraftian nightmare void, a cover art depicting a host of skeletons surrounding a ghastly, faceless, centripetal monster that seems to be sucking everything in its path into a black void mouth or anus… you’d really have to hope the music behind all this is going to be a gigantic beast of earth quaking ferocity. Rest easy, it is.

The Black Mouth of Sepulchre, the band’s second album after their 2018 full-length debut Dolorous Death Knell, is from the get-go a monstrous assault of gargantuan death metal riffing, an abundance of malicious riffing, great, memorable lead guitar work, guttural vocals and an oppressively enveloping sound that really does feel like it’s all being pumped from a furnace. Opening track Emanated Trepidation sets the tone of what will follow. The impression of simultaneously being sucked into a screaming void while having my bones flattened brings to mind Morbid Angel and Immolation, two great associations to have for apocalyptic death metal. If you don’t instantly love this record by the end of the opening track, this band probably won’t be for you, as this is very much the formula they repeat throughout the course of the album.

This should absolutely not give the impression that the band coast along on the same one trick; while the sound is consistent across the whole record, each track is brimming with great, riffs and within the tracks themselves (all around the 6min mark) there are plenty of tempo shifts, fantastic guitar interplay and moments of absolute extreme metal delight. Take the breakdown about two and a half minutes into Dry Breath of the Tomb. Uggghh if this riff doesn’t get your blood pumping, do you even extreme metal? I’m reminded of the first time I listened to Demilich and absolutely fell in love with those twisted guitar lines. Though Sulphurous don’t go off in such crazy rhythmic tangents, again and again they take familiarly demonic riffs and guitar licks and bend them to their own unique shape.

Every track keeps up the momentum and there are many highlights to be found through the album. Shadows writhing Like Black Wings lulls the listener with a haunting piano refrain before off we go again on a flaming tumble down a mountain of glass, with malevolent, demonic guitar lines and great overlaid lead guitar work. Eyes Glaring Black Fury brings to mind some Through Silver In Blood with a great, dark chord sequence just over two minutes in. The title track has a whiff of Cannibal Corpse about it, with its disorienting rhythmic feel and more cool guitar interplay. The final track Gazing Into the Patch of Darkness may even be the pick of the bunch with a frankly scary escalation 45 seconds in. And when that stomping riff comes in at 2:17 uuuugggghhhh I found God.

For fans of oppressively heavy death metal and dark guitar riffing this album is a treat. The sound is massive, the guitar playing is top notch, the pacing is great. A real treasure trove of Cthulhu invoking metal monstrosity. 8.5/10 Tom Boatman

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8.5/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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