Leviathan / Sapthuran - split

Leviathan is back with another split release. This time the glutton for punishment is Sapthuran. Bands know how tough the situation is, to be the flip side of a Leviathan release has got to be a lot of pressure. Even if you release something utterly fantastic it is still likely to get overpowered by Wrest. Sapthuran is Patrick Hall and I give him credit for participating. The project was started in 2003 and has already produced two full-length albums. The cover to To the Edge of Land caught my eye but I never ordered the disc so this is actually my introduction to the band. I’ll say that Sapthuran has studied the masters of ultra primitive black metal and stays within the narrow confines of the style, doing a paint by numbers approach to Ildjarn worship.

This is a style I like and I enjoy the songs here but there is really nothing special on display. The sound quality is great, as in appropriate. There are two songs and an acoustic interlude. The acoustic break is very weak. The opening song is nine and one half minutes long and the title is “As A Tale Told by the Leaves and Whispered by the Wind.” We are greeted with even paced rhythmic guitar and unrelenting cymbals. Memorize the first ten seconds and you can play the whole song. The next song, “The Wanderer: Blood in the Forest,” is six and one half minutes long. Still got those ten seconds memorized? Start playing it again here.

Leviathan is complete now. Real drums were used on this album, and a photo of the drums is in the booklet. It is not the best drum sound but it is not a detraction and it is an improvement over the computer. Wrest contributes four songs and an outro. “Odious Convulsions” starts us off in familiar territory with fast drumming, insane vocals, swirling layered guitars, fast and slow pacing, chugging bass, screeching guitar and cool repeating riffs. “The Fourth Blind Wound” offers croaked and screeched vocals and blistering speed on drums with background whispers and a slower disquieting middle passage. I just feel like typing “Crushing The Prolapsed Oviducts of Virtue” so I’ll tell you about the slow and dreary middle section and the howling wail. The outro is called “Mesmerism” and is restrained and brief. Ambient soundscapes are minimal.

If the Leviathan tracks from this release were combined with his tracks from the Xasthur split the result would be a killer full length. I’ve got my cdr in hand. As for Sapthuran, it is time to place an order for To the Edge of Land

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
January 2nd, 2006


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