Sarpanitum
Despoilment of Origin

So here is the first release on Galactic Records, the label recently formed by Mithras main man Leon Macy, and let me tell you it’s a fucking doozy.

Formed from the ashes of a few obscure English death metal bands (Infant Bile, Dark Earth), Birmingham’s Sarpanitum look to, (along with the new Mithras and Man Must Die albums) put the UK back on the death metal map, and do so with a stunning debut that should be one of the most impressive death metal releases of the year.

Culling tangible influences, notably from the likes of Immolation (crumbling, technical ‘backwards’ riffing), Mithras (blistering complexity, otherworldly solos, squealing riffs), and Nile (very slight Eastern tones, ancient esoteric themes, use of atmospherics), Sarpanitum’s debut is a highly impressive slab of brutal yet intelligent death metal that warrants your attention right now.

Getting right to it with blistering opener “Seducing the Phallus Throne”, Sarpanitum’s lavish savagery and heaving heft is as obvious as the skills of the bands members, notably drummer Sean Broster and deep but surprisingly comprehensible growler/bassist Andy Tekchakosit. Second track and arguably one of the albums standouts, “Halls of Decadence” showcases the bands atmospheric side with a nice, epic synth segment, while “Ascending the Divine” after a furious start, shows us the bands lumbering, mountainous side (which again appears for “Revocation of the Eternal Odium”) complemented by a lengthy solo. And so goes the rest of the album; devastating, swirling blastbeats mixed with shifting, marble heavy slowdowns. All rendered with a earthy, murky production that should appease fans of Immolation and Incantation as well as Mithras’s first album. Only Nile-ish interlude of “Dusk Over Assyria” provides any respite and that is quickly ravaged by the menacing militaristic lurch that opens “Cur Defilement”. The closing title track is the icing on the cake with one of the rare perfectly placed riff/solos that ends and album flawlessly; and you know it.

Arguably the best death metal debut to come out of England in some years (including Mithras’ own debut), Leon Macy had just better be thankful his own bands new album, Beyond The Shadows Lies Madness is also brilliant, other wise I’d be embarrassed that a band on my label had surpassed my own band.

Either way, it’s great to see such a great death metal record come from England, and once again bring some semblance of respect to the once great birthplace of heavy metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 2nd, 2007

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