Drown In Sulphur
Dark Secrets of the Soul

Italy’s Drown In Sulfur got off to a hot start in the blackened deathcore genre with various EPs including the excellent Blackwind EP, which I really enjoyed and own, and I thought the band was ready to blow up.

Then the band literally blew up shortly after with drummer Domenico Tamila kicking out all of the other band members, taking over the social media accounts, and quite a bit of nastiness. Now the ex-members did alright and formed Defamed, who themselves delivered some solid progressive deathcore, but Drown In Sulphur‘s status was a bit up in the air, until they self-released Sulphur Cult in 2021, with a whole new lineup. It took the band in a more blackened direction, with corpse paint and all.

So now here is their second full album with this line-up and style, and I must say I’m very impressed. Sulphur Cult was solid, but Dark Secrets of the Soul really cranks up the blackened elements similar to last year’s Mental Cruelty album and also increases a more…. ‘vampiric’ album concept, atmosphere, and theme. I get some She Must Burn vibes at times as well.

The end result is a really good symphonic/blackened deathcore album that focuses more on the blacker elements and atmospheres and less on constant, pummeling breakdowns (though there are plenty, for example in “Say My Name”). This is moodier and darker with a surprising amount of almost gothic and clean moments, and dare I say.. a couple of surprisingly restrained and enjoyable ‘ballads’ (“Lotus”, “Dark Secrets of the Soul”, “Vampire Communion”).

But certainly, fans of any symphonic/blackened deathcore bands like the aforementioned Mental Cruelty, Shadow of Intent, Carnifex, and of course, Lorna Shore, will enjoy this. There are lots of razor-sharp blasts and dramatic orchestration as heard on the opener “Eclipse of the Sun of Eden”, dramatic “Unholy Light”, killer “Buried By Snow And Hail” and ripping, closing standout “Shadow of the Dark Throne”. All great tracks and examples of the genre.

A damn fine start to the new year in the genre I am a total simp for and a pretty high bar for the genre for the rest of the year. Let’s see what the rest of 2024 brings, as I’ve yet to hear any news from some of the genre’s heavyweights regarding 2024 releases.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 8th, 2024

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