Sarcophagum, Conduits To The Underworld (Nuclear Winter 2022)

Newly minted dark metal band Sarcophagum release their debut EP, Conduits To The Underworld.

Comprised of members from the Australian death metal band Golgothan Remains, Sarcophagum is a doom-heavy death metal act. There is old school death metal at play hear, to be sure, as well as what I have been trying to call dark metal: an intentional dismalness that is more active than doom metal and can express itself in a variety of forms. There are three songs on the new record, and they are all quite impressive.

“Pits of Hate” is beautifully dark at its open. The growling, croaking vocals enter after the riffs pick up and the land is verily shaken free of care. This song smells like the plague and sounds like its title. The music pushes you right up to the edge of the abyss and makes you look over into the infinite, not at all concerned about the price you will pay.

“Netherengines” poses dissonance as a rendering of attitude, and carries it on to the next level. The sour clashing is a sign that things aren’t right. In due course, we find out the details. No amount of distracting reverie can transport you away from the reality expressed in the constricting musical space of this song.

“Between Two Worlds” is an ode to hopelessness, by the sound of it. The dreariness is oppressive; the weight of a cosmos presses on you from either side. The guitars play together, mournfully detailing the predicament. The vocals are a narration of your demise.

The metal on this EP is as heavy as a rational mind can contemplate. Well done. Recommended.

Conduits To The Underworld is out through Nuclear Winter Records on Monday, September 12th. You can get it at the label’s on-line shop or Bandcamp.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://nuclearwinterrecords.bandcamp.com/album/conduits-to-the-underworld

Nuclear Winter Records, https://nuclearwinterrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Sarcophagum, Conduits To The Underworld (Nuclear Winter 2022)

Blasphematory, The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter 2022)

New Jersey death metal band Blasphematory drive up the demons on their second album, The Lower Catacombs.

Blasphematory came together by happenstance, the story goes. After compiling a demo, they released the full-length Depths of the Obscurity as a duo in 2019. Expanding the line-up by fifty percent, the sound honed in to what we hear today on the new album. It is classic death metal with notable doom leanings and an ear for perpetuity. The band includes veteran musicians Joe Aversario (bass, guitar, vocals), Chris Warhead (drums), and Tom Deceiver (guitar).

Seven savage tracks make up the new set. “Cruciform Shadows” begins with what sounds like a warning – a creepy, warbling ramp that peels off to reveal the shaggy darkness behind the veil. “Unclean Eulogies” is transportative, welling up in deliberation and with purpose, and slow-stomping the black earth with massive musical paws. “Key to the Furnace” steps back a touch, lays in on the grind then ramps up the tempo. This opening triad shows clearly the world you have ventured into by dropping the needle.

There is much to admire in every corner of this record. “Perpetual Despair” is heavy doom, sounding very much like it indeed comes from the lower catacombs. It is my favorite track on the album, the crushing hopelessness is what appeals to me. “Flooded Graves” has a feeling of deep mystery to it in the melody and in the rumbling percussion. And then there is the title song. “The Lower Catacombs” is the longest track and the anchor to the set. You feel the weight of the world – and the underworld – descend upon you from the very beginning. New looks and perpetrations roll over you as the music continues, and you want it all to happen. The guitars are mournful and unrepentant. The vocals deep and unwelcoming. The music is murky dank darkness. Recommended.

The Lower Catacombs came out on Friday the 13th through Nuclear Winter Records on digital, CD, and vinyl. You can get it now.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://blasphematory.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/blasphematory

Nuclear Winter Records, https://nuclearwinterrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Blasphematory, The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter 2022)