Come Horrid Sigil
Dead Obelisk EP

Remember Seattle’s Black Breath? They released 3 solid albums from 2010 to 2015 on Southern Lord. They were one of the earlier, really good US bands playing a Swedish death metal/hardcore hybrid that was a bit of a precursor to the Gatecreeper’s et al of this world.

Well, while Black Breath is indefinitely ‘on hold’, two of their members Neil McAdams (vocals) and F Funds (instruments and drum programming) have teamed up to pay homage to another Swedish death metal band…… At The Gates. Though there are other At The Gates adjacent influences you can hear like Dimension Zero, Nail Within, and such. The production isn’t quite as polished, but boy do they nail the delivery…..for the most part.

Don’t believe me? Listen to that clanking industrial sample that starts the EP’s first track, “Ethereal Appear” and then tell me that isn’t virtually identical to the same sample that starts “Blinded by Fear” from Slaughter of the Soul. Then the track itself has the same fiercely melodic, hack-and-slash gait and rasped vocals of the iconic track.

The second track “Dead Obelisk” is an absolute scorcher with a killer opening riff and some moments that imbue “Cold”, again from Slaughter of the Soul. Pity its the EP’s shortest track as it fucking rips.

That all said, the next two tracks are a bit different. There is the 8+ minute “Dream of the Stellar Horde I (Cantique de Guerre)”, with a lengthy piano/acoustic intro then a more restrained, mid paced somber pace. And then instrumental closer “Dream of the Stellar Horde II (Défilé Militaire)” starts with some more industrialized clanking, then 90s-styled symphonic black metal keys before a pretty lifeless few minutes of mid-paced instrumental chugging.

Frankly, the last 2 songs wander a bit and didn’t keep my attention like the first two, cos man do they rip. And while it’s certainly a tangible homage to a single band and album, they fucking nail it and I hope future releases deliver more of the same rather than what the EP’s second half delivers.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 15th, 2023

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jaarnold

    Definitely do remember black breath!!! Every once in a while it comes up on rotation and it is surprisingly stellar after a decade as well. Just enough chugs and punk aggression!!

    I am not interested in melodic stuff, and so I just wanted to reply to that introductory sentence.

    (Long time reader, thanks for still blogging!! While our subjectivities may differ I have always read with interest most stuff because it was relatable, and many times I got to find some interesting noise I would not have otherwise. And I still remember the joy when I saw like Iniquity and Copremesis being polled etc. )


  2. Commented by: Erik T

    Well, thanks for reading!!!!


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