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Sorcery Of The Damned EP

Invictus Productions (2014)
Rating: 8/10

Well guys and gals, it’s time to grab those inverted crosses and flick the goat horns up in the name of Satan, because we’re going to get battered by Sorcery Of The Damned; the debut EP from Chilean deathsters of doom, Oraculum.

Not to be confused with the Italian black metal band, this Oraculum is a trio of red-eyed demons who present to us four bludgeoning death metal numbers steeped in the mud of the old school drudgery. The sound is one constructed of dense, bleak, raging guitars which are supported by an ashen percussion that marches along like a blood-soaked tank.

Oraculum is a band that immediately brings to mind the primitive horrors of early Death, old Bolt Thrower etc. as a torrential downpour of heavyweight, dank rhythms which are punctured by melancholic melodies and those ghoulish vocal gasps.

It could be argued of course that there’s been a lot of this, and very similar torturous sounds, puked from South America over the years, but as in the case of so many, this is just so putridly convincing that it’d take a brave man to dismiss its brutality.

We begin proceedings with the hellish rants of ‘The Vessel Of Orichalcum’; a sordid, festering barrage of fast drums, nasty chords and that hoarse bellow. The hidden murky trudge certainly hints at UK masters Bolt Thrower and yet in its dissonant madness it’s still very South American; born from a foetid underground that marries grim, fleshy death metal and weighty black metal evil.

‘Primeval Flame’ follows, teasing the listener with its stark introduction of mere guitar and bass which work in suspenseful tandem before the doom-laden drum interferes. It aches with its pain-staking prowess before that sombre riff, but you just know that with another five or so minutes to go that there’s going to be more to this cavern than meets the eye. And then it comes; that rush through the arteries of mud, silt and blackened death, channelled through the rapid-fire drums and that buzz guitar sound before the injection of those dungeon master narrations of gloom.

Oraculum are simply providing another soundtrack to hell, succeeding with that damp and wretched production which enables each instrument to clog together as some squelching mass of intestinal unholiness. Slow, trudging moments blend well with sections of raw speed before they embark on another simmering belch of hostility through ‘Passage I’; a doomy march smothered in grit, algae and quicksand which as a force drags us into those stuffy pits of decay. A simple plodding drum fused with an ancient-sounding riff and it would seem that Oraculum is offering up a traditional, albeit down-tuned slab of metal, and indeed they do; this track being a pensive instrumental preparing us for the final atrocities of ‘Endarkenment’ which is less forgiving. As a track, it exhibits a steady, uncompromising rage that hints at late 80s and early 90s death metal before weighing our carcasses down with further doomier passages which occasionally allow a strangled solo or two to escape from the mire.

Ghoulish to the extreme, Oraculum serves up a dastardly EP that will provide an extra layer of damp to the basement of your mind.

Neil Arnold

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