Saturday, October 18, 2014
Sempiternal Dusk- "Self-Titled Release"
Seemingly endless death doom music is what this Portland, OR group has to offer on their self-titled full-length album. Sempiternal Dusk, appropriately named might I point out, blends loud massive sounding doom metal atmospheres with some aggressive death metal cuts.
This album is one enormous five song blanket of thick guitar distortion and sinister heavy grooving rhythms. Also, the singer uses that monstrous death growl which adds to the album’s overall dark theme. When the guitarist plays a riff, you feel the impact of each chord hitting your eardrum. Drumming, same effect as the guitar, and the drummer’s timing and feel is very powerful. As he pounds out heavy earth shaking rhythms, the sounds of each hit echo through the dark distorted abyss. For only five songs, one might think they are being cheated, but let me tell you that these are no short Grindcore songs. We’re talking 8-14 songs, so short minded music fans beware.
The album starts out with the longest track, “Moon Beneath Hook Cross.” I personally questioned this move to have the longest song be first, however, I do believe the song best represents this band’s style and approach. The guitar gradually builds like the sound of an angry giant walking towards a town that he plans of destroying with his bare hands. About midway through the song the drums pick up pace and the song takes on a more death metal approach. The guitar playing maintains a loud destructive sound and fuses slower doom like riffs with chainsaw sounding death metal licks. I thought the song carried on a bit too long in certain parts, but I think what made this song not too repetitious was the fact that the band constantly switched between the two styles.
Song number two, “Streams of Night,” begins with a more abrasive sounding old school death metal composition. The song explodes instantly into a chaotic heavy riff assault and the drums add to the song’s overall behemoth sounding musical landscape. I especially like when Sempiternal Dusk hits the slow button and constructs those massive sounding ominous doom parts. Now, track three, “Upon the Gallows at Perihelion,” is yet another death doom mixture sure to swallow up all happiness in the universe. The chemistry between the guitar and drums is amazing and every composition flows harmoniously. Vocally, the death growls provide some bone chilling sounds, but the words never really standout and I can't tell what he is saying over the guitar distortion. Towards the end of the song the band uses some lines from Stephen King’s, It. I laughed when I heard the lines because I swear that another band I reviewed used the same lines in one of their songs. Pennywise the Clown sure gets plenty of recognition from metal bands these days.
The fourth song, “Seclusion of the Bereaved,” sounds like impending doom and features some unapologetic riffs that hit harder than Mike Tyson. “Urn of Dawn,” is the last song and finishes the album off with a haunting vibe. The song is just a short guitar piece that creates sinister sounding riffs while demonic noises are heard in the background.
For the most part this album maintained a certain distinct sound that I really enjoyed. Of course with most death doom music out there, the formula can become redundant. However, if in the mood for dark slow aggressive sounding music, this album is well worth the listen. Sempiternal Dusk is the theme music for an endless abyss of pure darkness where no light shines and evil clowns lurk in the shadows. Who wouldn't want to listen to that?! Well, maybe someone afraid of the dark and clowns...