Released: 2014, Dark Descent Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Death metal need not be overplayed like it was when modern death metal exploded onto the scene along with technical death metal in recent years. There has been a dearth of bands releasing anti-technical death metal since, using riffs that create dark atmosphere, sounding close to cavernous. Sempiternal Dusk’s self-titled mini-album is released by Dark Descent Records, which has been a reliable source of old-school death metal and dark, extreme music for the past several years now. The album comes after a fine slew of releases by Dark Descent this year, and it isn’t a shock to hear this album harken back to old-school death metal when it all began.
The riffs are minimalist, sixth-string worship. They don’t wanker all over the fretboard and play melodic music. They instead, play dark, simple melodies, shredding or downpicking away with precision to the rest of the music.
The vocals consist of guttural growls that are unintelligible but are integral to the album. The bass and drums anchor the rhythm section with restraint, never drifting off from the main melody with a fill-in or a solo that sounds out-of-place. They use chord transition with the note rooted on the sixth string like a line on the cardiac monitor during a flatlining.
When the band slows down, they downpick and sustain effectively, never staying on that pattern too long. Soon after a few moments of doom/death add variety to the tempo of the music, the shreds make their way through three-chord progressions that maintain the groove.
Sempiternal Dusk can’t be credited with the most original concept or the most original riffs, but the songs sound so tight and so dark that listening to this album reminds me of hypnotic regression. The voice bellows with consternation, the riffs lull the listener’s ears and soon the listener descends into the depths of oblivion, where dark images rest after years of post-traumatic stress.
Its an enjoyable listen, and fans of simple but dark, catchy death metal without the guitar-poser solos will listen to this and grin ear-to-ear. Its all about death, the vocals sounding inhuman, the strings caked with filth as the guitarist’s pick trudges through the murk.
The drums keep the tempo without complication, summoning double-bass when the music calls for it, never blasting for the sake of brutality incessantly throughout the duration of the album. Proper execution comes at the forefront; the shreds are steady and the drums and bass accompany them in unison. There are spoken-word recordings in some songs, and they enhance the material.
No pre-tense. No me-first performances. Just absolutely righteous fucking death metal for the trve!
Review By Al Necro