A pox of misanthropic viral ghast spreads entropic cessation among the stars in secret as an atmosphere choked with the radiation of billions of hours of incandescent radiation blinds the eyes of man from the dissolving light of the universe. What cryptically shadowed and impossibly all-consuming ‘beast’ amongst the eternal void of space has a voice? In fact it has a skull-melting growl emanating from a vibrating mass of grayed flesh and a single amber colored eye that’d splinter and divide as if cancer were becoming tumescent at light speed. There is no amount of sentience in the anomalous devourer before us, all around us, but a hint of death in the air among the ash and the fresh stench of shattered ozone. Verona, Italy by way of Houston, Texas death metal band Sepolcro breathe a second life after their initial death in 2016 with ‘Amorphous Mass’, a rebirth that finds newly monstrous voice and a horrifying brutality fit to incant the will of the ancient responsible for our doom.
Drummer/vocalist Hannes Delbello (Engrossed, ex-Warstorm, Dismal Fate Records) had originally ended the band because staffing it had become a chore and it wasn’t until he’d secured a deadly serious line-up that his ideas developed beyond 2016 would explode forth. The first two releases from Sepolcro ‘Festering Evocation’ (2013) demo and the ‘Horrendous Plasmation’ (2015) split with Presumed Dead saw the project forming into a Krypts and Disma adjacent style of death metal that was ‘old school’ in its rot but in service to death/doom in terms of its mid-to-slow pace. In 2018 the ‘Undead Abyss’ and ‘Nekrotheism’ demos still had that same raw underground death metal sound but often came at a jogging Scandinavian death metal pace rather than an Incantation-esque crawl and blast ethos. The goal wasn’t clearly indicative of what they would conjure here today with ‘Amorphous Mass’; This EP still hits upon some of those key Scandinavian rhythms but now appears beside a blasting Rottrevore-esque setting, a spacious and brutally unleashed style of cursed abyssic death that fans of Infester (or Imprecation) styled brutalism (Desolation Realm, for example) should appreciate. It might seem like a departure from previous works at first but, they still creep into the style of doomed death metal Sepolcro had brought on earlier recordings while invoking their 2018 evolution. They’ve commendably evolved into something more ominous and dramatically achieved i.e. Heavier and more interesting.
‘Amorphous Mass’ is achieved within a deeply underground style with a truly grizzled sound where the guitars are an overblown eruption of fire, an explosion that can only be set into place with the anchor of a well placed bass guitar tone and Delbello‘s fine drumming. As intensive and atmospheric as this EP is none of it feels overwrought or needled over, I find the straightforward punch of the riffs and drumming satisfying for their simpler (but never dull) expression. The beast is a rumbling entity literally incanted on “An Ancient Summoning” that I guess I’d say is mixed to the point of ear-blasting distortion at times, where the bass crumbles and bursts under the weight of the mix. This isn’t too obvious until the title track began to sound like a speaker under water when using high quality headphones. I wouldn’t consider that a ding on my assessment of ‘Amorphous Mass’ but a suggestion that it sounded best on actual speakers on my end. Of course I can highly recommend Sepolcro‘s debut EP, this is a ripping blast and lumbering beast all in one and I found it highly repeatable. For preview my favorite track was “The Malevolent Mist” but also check out “Sulphurous Eruption From The Depths” for a sense of the intermittent Scandinavian chunkiness I’d mentioned previous.
A thousand putrefying eyes. 4.0/5.0
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