I’m sitting here after a particularly stressful day of work where nothing appeared to want to go right, and formulas decided to do their own shit, and I threw my mouse across the goddamn room because there’s only so much stress a person can take before your skull implodes. It’s at these times I want the earth to open up and unleash fire and blood so I can have an excuse not to go back to what I was doing.
Fittingly, “Vazio,” the debut record from Portuguese doom/death powers Sepulcros, was at my disposal, and the music on this six-track beast sounds like what it might if the world combusted, and we were left to try to pick up the choking pieces. This is a supremely heavy record, one that makes you think it’s going to go the funeral doom route at times only to bludgeon you with devastation and speed that sound like they’re coming for your life. The band—vocalist SB, guitarists NZ and RT, bassist AH, and drummer JS—come up for air now and again and infuse atmosphere into the room, but never get comfortable. Know that a bloody, mugging detonation is right around the corner, and there is no room to run and hide.
“Involucro Oco” is an eerie introductory piece that opens the lid and lets the clouds gather, rolling into the title track that unloads thick gloom and wrenching vocals. Morbid ugliness and savage punishment create a formidable team as the walls cave in, and heat rises from the cracks. Cavernous hell and increasing heat make the atmosphere volatile while darkness is smothered, and muscular sinew drags itself to its grave. “Marcha Funebre” shakes the ground as the pace hulks along, with welling growls making your anxiety spike. Then the hammers are unloaded, bringing with them thunderous hell and a funereal reality that makes your insides shake. The pace then rumbles all over, feeling like the earth is coming apart, while the hellish chaos spills further, vaulting the pressure and melting into a relentless sound bath.
“Magno Caos” unveils dark morbidity that slowly steeples its fingers as the playing trudges, and the growls dig into your chest cavity. The pace slurs and the growls boil, feeling like the weight of the universe is upon you, letting lava collect before it explodes from the creases. The drums devastate as the growls blacken eyes, with sounds gurgling as they collect and flood the finish line. “Hecatombe” bleeds somber, haunting guitars as the thing cracks open, and emotional turmoil rushes the surface. Shrieks explode as the cranial pressure builds, spitting ugly fury and thunderous madness, mixing violence and somber emotion into a single pot. The sadness returns and thickens in your veins, making the world quake, a megaton of intensity ruptures, and everything folds into corrosion. “Humana Vacuidade” is an instrumental outro that feels like ghouls lurking in the basement while strange vibes get into your blood and claim your consciousness.
“Vazio” is a record I already was excited to tear into simply based on their promise of vintage doom/death and the comparisons to bands such as disembowelment, Atramentus, and Esoteric, which had me on board immediately. Actually taking on Sepulcros’ debut was something I didn’t expect, even with the anticipation I felt going in, which made for a stunning payoff. This is a record that feels like it’s knifing through the earth’s crust, on its way to permanently change you physically and mentally.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/sepulcrosdoom/
To buy the album (U.S.), go here: https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/
Or here (International): https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.de/shop-en_1
For more on the label, go here: https://tometal.com/