Sepulchral Curse
Deathbed Sessions EP

I dunno about you, but I love to make a meal out of an appetizer. And I don’t mean like a rich, white housewife going to a restaurant and ordering a side salad as their meal so they can fit into that bikini the 20 year old pool boy loves to see you in – I mean like a big friggin’ plate of loaded nachos, or a pile of 20 buffalo wings straight to the face. It’s not supposed to be a “meal” but FUCK YOU I’M AN ADULT I’LL BUY AND EAT POUTINE FOR DINNER IF I WANT TO.

The right EP can pull off the same trick, too. It can give a band a little more freedom to let songs flesh out a bit without worrying about an entire album running too long. It can be an opportunity to try some new ideas without dedicating an entire album to a direction that may have fans irrationally breaking out their pitchforks and torches. And if it all comes together well, that little EP snack can turn into a whole damn meal, as the kids would say, and this little EP from Finland’s Sepulchral Curse is one delicious friggin’ treat.

Like the best finger foods turned full-fledged-meal, things get a little messy with Sepulchral Curse on Deathbed Sessions. This is a filthy, unrefined foray into Blackened Finnish Death Metal with enough grizzled fat on the meat to make it all the more juicy. But don’t mistake this for bare-bones simplicity, either. Those of you familiar with the band will recognize most of the elements here, but they’ve certainly added some ingredients to the sauce. First, the band has divvied up some of the vocal duties, giving bassist Niilas Nissilä and drummer Tommi Ilmanen some burn on backup vocal duty, adding some welcome screams and barks to lead vocalist Kari Kankaanpää’s bellowing lows. These additions go especially nicely on some of the more upbeat, Death n’ Roll elements brought to the table, most notably on “Harvesting the Bloodlines,” which hits with a real sense of energy and urgency, giving Sepulchral Curse’s sound even more life and pizzazz. It’s like taking a traditional Buffalo sauce and adding a little citrus to give it a vibrant kick to the mouth.

But before you think things are getting a little too fancy and rosy here, “Dystheist” follows up and gets down into that 7-layer bean dip kinda THICK, including a filthy little breakdown about halfway through so heavy you’ll need to lose the belt, and probably the button on your jeans to sit comfortably. But don’t get TOO too comfortable, because you’re gonna want to get moving again in a big way at the 4:36 mark. 4 snare hits and the band launches into a blistering two and a half minute stretch of absolute breakneck fury. It’s like they straight-up chomped down on a ghost pepper and started running around frantically trying to find a carton of milk to bring sweet relief to the absolute torture. The end result is one of my favorite songs thus far of 2022, and one that I very desperately would love to experience live.

A lot of credit has to be given to the band because, despite there being only the 3 new original songs on the EP (along with a filthy cover of Demigod’s “Towards the Shrouded Infinity”), these are not quick-hitter tracks. Opener “Circular Aeons” and the aforementioned “Dystheist” both go just under eight minutes, and “Harvesting the Bloodlines” still runs over 5 – but none of these songs seem nearly so long. They move along at a brisk pace, with the kind of cohesive changes in pace and tone that only a band this confident in their sound can pull off successfully. If you’re looking for an EP that will leave you completely full and satisfied by the final note, Deathbed Sessions is the sweet little treat for you. Check this out and load up on the ooey, gooey goodness.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
April 22nd, 2022

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