From the forgotten caverns of Northern Spain, in the mountains of Bilbao, which sits on the Bay of Bacay, surfaces Sepulchral.
The band has previously released two demos (2016, 2017) and a revered 2019 EP, Graveyard Repugnance. Soulseller Records now unleashes 11 new tracks of grimy death metal.
Sepulchral display true engaged talent here with adherence to the genre which they embrace. The songwriting is down to earth and engaging; while just catchy enough to move a crowd.
The key to From Beyond the Burial Mound is the production, which the band handled themselves. Then mixing and mastering was done by guitarist/drummer, Gorka. Dusk is the OG founder, on bass and vocals, and Guata has been on guitars since the second Sepulchral demo.
These hellions have had five years to hone their sound and execution, and damn it's a finely forged sword which they wield. From Beyond the Burial Mound crushes with a thunderous, fat low-end. The down-tuned guitars are ugly with a thick, robust sound. But the drums come through, one’s ears can differentiate the snares and toms and kicks. The attitude reflects the sound which is gnarly and nasty but with clean, conquering solos.
Gorka’s drumming boats idiosyncrasies; one can hear the ‘tings’ and crashes of cymbals and obviously pounding bass drums. Dusk’s bass is allowed to shine; especially on “Sepulchral Flames," as it holds down a charging tune. The track revels in fast riffing and racing drums. While “Tomstone Thrower” embellishes a sludgey two-minute intro, plodding through the treacherous burdens of trepidation. But then it bursts free and moves quickly for three more minutes; complimented by a piano outro and storm clouds. Vocals are snarling bellows.
Sepulchral’s sound is in the spirit of, but not a clone of Entombed or Grave; and conjuring a dark, atmospheric pounding like Hail of Bullets. All hail the dirty HM-2.
Beyond the Burial Mound is fast and powerful. “Caravan of Putrid Flesh” highlights this, with the drums up in the mix and a doom-soaked riff and the vocals jaded ripping through flesh. This track switches to a mid-paced stomp for the middle part, adding some variety before exploding for the last minute. “Ceremony of Putrecation” adds a track with some blackened-thrash texture to truly get the album rolling.
“Cursed Epitaph” is another fine track touting a churning riff and double-time pace. Songs are all kept to three to four minutes, never overstaying their welcome with gluttony or hubris. Each songs delivers belligerence with powerful, putrid presence. The two tracks over five minutes are the mentioned, “Tombstone Thrower” and “Blood Freak," a Necrophagia cover. Sepulchral give it a dominating march and make it their own.
The album closes with “Eye Like Burning Catacombs," where a windswept, winding intro ushers the listener into a punching song, highlighting their speed and breakdown abilities to easily carry the burden of closing a behemoth album.
Beyond the Burial Mound is a superb record. The confidence and musicianship, and ability to produce a record well, are immediately obvious. It’s not the murky, muddy sounds of OSDM which has been resurrected (which I love, too). But here stands a defiant and resolute Sepulchral, concise and smart with intimidating weapons of war to show the world.
- Soulseller Records (Vinyl, CD)
- Bandcamp (Digital)