Review by Jason Guest
Released on vinyl through Iron Bonehead Productions (and on CD through Invictus Productions), Sepulchural Ruins Below The Temple, the debut release from UK death metal duo שְׁאוֹל (“She’ol”, Hebrew for “grave” or “abode of the dead”), is fucking ugly. Opening instrumental ‘Spiritual Desiccation’, with its ominous introduction, its mercilessly cruel riffs, and the contorted melodies that arise as the track proceeds are but a mere preparation, a warning, or rather, a threat of what’s to come. Then comes the unrestrained cacophonous ferocity of ‘Deluge of Tehom’, a track that is as gargantuan and grotesque as the next track, ‘Perpetual Descent Into The She’ol’. With down-tempo passages woven into the heaving mass of serrated riffs, demonic vocals, and the unyielding annihilation of the drumming, both tracks are as vicious as each other.
After that ruthless and unyielding battery of raw and primitive death metal, the instrumental ‘Katachthomb’ is a journey deeper into the suffocating darkness where the title track awaits to devour whatever’s left of your (un)earthly soul. Yep, שְׁאוֹל’s brutality and potency is unquestionable. And as good as the cover of Darkthrone’s ‘Cromlech’ is, another track by the band would have been preferable as this track indicates that the band still have some way, but not too far, to go. But however long that takes, that journey will be worth keeping an eye on. This belongs in your collection.
7 out of 10
- Spiritual Desiccation
- Deluge Of Tehom
- Perpetual Descent Into The She’ol
- Sepulchural Ruins Below The Temple
- Cromlech (Darkthrone cover)