Disquieting features in vague connexion with past aeons mark the dream-like character of Talagante, Chile-based death/doom metal band Sporae Autem Yuggoth who present awestruck memories, omens of the undying and muse upon the unknowable within this exceptional debut full-length album. Surrealistic melodicism and dry-rotted death metal action serve their own form of kosm-crafted dark doom metal as ‘…However it Still Moves‘ fights through the sinew and the gore toward its glorious birth into moonlight. Classicist yet largely untethered to the strictures of the nineties, we see the makings of a semi-progressive hand turning ‘old school’ affect into delirious, truly surreal tunefulness as this fine work simultaneously manifests as outlier and grower alike.
Sporae Autem Yuggoth formed circa 2019 between current and former members of still tentative melodic death metal group Ruins of Agony, aiming for a classic style of Eldritch death/doom metal which is generally tied to the British and Scandinavian ideations of those sounds rather than the typical bursts of pure death metal one would find in the late 80’s/early 90’s out of the Netherlands and United States. The original approach of the project on their first EP (‘The Plague of the Aeons‘, 2020) was decidedly more rooted in the groove of early sludge metal and traditional doom metal, bigger riffs and aggressive presentation made for a classic death/doom metal record structured around morbid doom metal rhythms, think along the lines of Doomortalis. It was an unassuming entry into an under-served niche release which managed to grab the few ears willing to pay attention at the time. Around the time Personal Records released the CD version of that EP the band released a cover of Dream Death‘s “The Unseen” as part of a magazine tied compilation and this is when I’d first taken notice of the group, impressed that they’d pulled a song from the ‘Ode to Sorrow‘ demo (basically a Penance demo) suggesting there was some true investment in true underground doom from these folks. Anyhow, it’d been was a meaningful cap to the first steps taken by the band, much has changed in the interim.
Since that first EP a number of lineup changes have found the second guitarist slot vacated and a keyboardist spot added which is occupied by Johanna Sánchez (Bitterdusk, Saklas), lending both an atmospheric and stylistic shift to their sound which is at first drastically different yet logically set within the bounds of their ‘old school’ death-doomed ideal. Now a sextet and given this haunting piano and synthesizer glow Sporae Autem Yuggoth are still decidedly driven by doom metal riffs but slower, more percussive trill-extended phrases which relish in their well-enriched dread. While we could cast the “atmospheric” descriptor at their work I think that much should be obvious enough per the suggested niche, the nuance of where they’ve gone with it is what interested me most. ‘…However it Still Moves‘ doesn’t quite touch upon the progressive side of late 90’s melodic death/doom, nor does it become an early-to-mid 90’s gothic metal stand-in but instead resembles the first acts to step beyond the basal fusion that was ‘Lost Paradise‘ and begin to produce gemlike great works, such as ‘Shades of Night Descending‘ but not quite the art-metal that transitional death metal ’til funeral doom acts such as Esoteric and Skepticism might’ve served as fitting comparison otherwise. The earliest and most fitting stylistic comparison comes from Cathedral of course but on this album I’d also point to Pentacrostic on their underrated debut ‘The Pain Tears‘, or more recently ‘Pax Moriendi‘ from Antichrist (Peru) where the romanticist and the aggressive meet up landing somewhere nearby minus what makes Sporae Autem Yuggoth something unique, though their choices of eerie synthesizers and piano in development of a certain Lovecraft era romanticism makes the difference here as they lead with dark, mysterious aura rather than plain solemnity.
Positively overflowing with spectacular misery. — If there was one valid criticism I could launch at Sporae Autem Yuggoth which sets aside tradition, sub-genre conventions and such it is that the running order leaves the album feeling quite long-winded and unfocused yet every piece of the greater puzzle is crafted to a very high standard. Every piece of ‘…However it Still Moves‘ feels grotesquely mid-to-late 90’s underground with its strong variety of keyboard/synthesizers used alongside equally strong use of various guitar tones. The orchestral, the eerie, the crumbling and the austere all meld together into a very readable mass of death/doom function yet the flow and narrative of the full listen is sidestepped for the sake of a very classic, chipped-at run through their colonnades. Each song here attempts to count as equal in their detail and interest yet ultimately the four longer ~10-12 minute pieces overwhelm the attentive ear and this takes the brunt of the first impression away from the shorter ~5-6 minute songs which tend to feature the more pure death metal influenced side of the group. This only detracts from “Disintegration”, a surreal yet actively striding death metal song which develops its own deep piano driven groove in its final third, and the simpler serpentine creep of “The Pendulum of Necropath” otherwise. Each have little chance to stand out next to the longer form opuses adjacent.
The real personality of Sporae Autem Yuggoth comes through darkest on their most involved, and by default longest pieces with “Colossus Larvae: The Crimson Coffin & The Scarlet Worm” being an important point of distinction as it develops its tentatively creeping melody with dark celestial keys and broader-stroked rhythms. “Disguise the Odious Spirits” will likewise immerse, quickly sprinkling its doomed anesthesia upon the ear and quickly forgetting all about the beauteous roll of “Disintegration” before it. The leads around ~7:32 minutes and the nigh neoclassic rhythmic shapes which arise beyond create this perfect storming moment, one of the most profoundly chasmic yet fleeting moments on the album which they circle back around to just a couple of times. Each of these longer pieces feature an elaborate build, heavier death metal payoff, and captivating journey overall with structures fans of Tiamat‘s second and third albums will naturally appreciate (esp. “Through Dominion to Interlude”) per strong atmosphere and a very period specific choice of keys/pads. I’ve no real complaint about these longer pieces beyond “too much of a good thing”, they are the major appeal of the whole gig and this fits well in line with the excess inspiration found in many obscure late 90’s death/doom metal gems.
The invested death/doom metal fandom won’t necessarily be able to read ‘…However it Still Moves‘ like a book but a bit of browsing through their greater cryptae will reveal everything one’d naturally want from a full-length debut from a not-so distant past styled record in this style. Immersive to start but a grower nonetheless, the unindoctrinated might necessarily invest some serious time and attention into a record like this in order to fully access and appreciate the gemlike moments it serves. There is just enough depth and atmospheric continuity here to make that exploration worthwhile for folks who happily dance the line between ‘old school’ minded classicism and the boggy quasi-underground of today. A high recommendation.
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