Finnish death metal is something that will likely never get old. It’s just one of those sounds that work in so many different ways and can be changed into so many different forms if you just change hands from one musician to another. It has been a hot minute since a Finnish act (at least one that I knew was Finnish) has really stood out to me in the death metal realm and Sepulchral Curse’s 2016 album is something I find myself crawling back to every few months. Their new album was a very welcome announcement to me when it was first told to the world, and it is absolutely everything I could’ve asked for.
Potentially, this could be the final form of what Finnish death metal has been building up to for years now. I’m not saying that Sepulchral Curse is the end-all-be-all band of their kind, but their sound has become sharpened in such a way with such an exquisite execution at every turn that I struggle at the concept of improving it. “Only Ashes Remain” is incredibly straightforward in essence, but Sepulchral Curse constantly surprises with twists and turns through corrupted halls and down haunted valleys that are an absolute joy to witness as each one of these songs chug along to deliver to us some magnificent death metal whose power cannot be denied nor questioned. But by no means does that result in this album remaining only in the realm of death metal as we see certain passages, particularly in the 11-minute finale, where many doom elements are brought in that somehow make things heavier and satisfying on a level that works all too well in the very capable hands of Sepulchral Curse. “Only Ashes Remain” is massive from its presence to its sound and it’s clear that Sepulchral Curse has the potential to become a need-to-know Finnish death act for modern times on a level that is undeniable. With this being their first full-length offering after two mighty EPs in the seven years since their formation, it’s not hard to see how Sepulchral Curse could become one of the best acts of their kind if the cards are dealt in their favor.
This is the second straight death metal album that I’ve heard this year that unequivocally stands above the rest, and it’s hard to say whether or not Sepulchral Curse currently takes the crown at the moment, but they’re not far off at all. “Only Ashes Remain” is catered to any fan of Finnish death metal, and just one spin of this beast will show anyone just how true that is.
“Only Ashes Remain” releases on July 31st via Transcending Obscurity Records!
LISTEN to an advanced track from “Only Ashes Remain” on Bandcamp here, or via YouTube below.
LIKE Sepulchral Curse on Facebook here.