Sulphurous - Dolorous Death Knell CD
SULPHUROUS (Denmark) - Dolorous Death Knell (2017) CD (sealed copy). This group have an almost hellish, ritual worship atmosphere to their music that proves to be one of their main assets. At times, the swirling maelstrom of rapid down-picks and tremolo riffs proves somewhat overwhelming, and fans who expect catchy melodies might look elsewhere. That said, the band sometimes vary tempos dramatically to high efficacy, and also frequently switch riffs on the faster sections to provide variation. Guitarist M surely is one of the best of his guild, something that should not come as surprise, as he also wields the axe for Taphos and Hyperdontia. He keeps dropping hook-laden riffs and murky lead passages, but he never loses himself in redundant wankery. Instead his playing leads the line, defining the character of each song. While most of the time the music has a certain kind of stoic nature there are some chaotic and more unorthodox sections thrown in for good measure.
The ultra-precise drumming by T (also swinging the sticks for Phrenelith and Hyperdontia) helps ramping up the intensity level even more. His playing underlines the crushing heaviness of “Dolorous Death Knell”. Everything on this record is consumed in a dark, dense atmosphere that makes songs like “The Flickering” feel murky and apocalyptic. The low end creaking through this record is ludicrous, with each chugging breakdown sounding like the cracking of the earth’s plates, best felt in the titanic final track “Reapers Gale”.
The vocals, bellowed with sinister allure by M, crept from beneath the murk, while his bass stabs murderously through the shadows. From what I understood he has also taken over vocal duties for Hyperdontia, and while the former singer of this band has also been a beast this surely was not a bad decision. The production is dirty and rotten, but this should not take away from the fact that beneath the layers of disease and uncleanliness there’s genuine craftsmanship and excellent songwriting to be found. Sulphurous have produced a fantastic genre piece. **originally published on metal-archives.com by Edmund Sackbauer* * Dark Descent Records – DDR218CD