It took me some time to get the hang of this album. I mean, I liked it quite soon, but it was a hard one to place. Sepulcher present us an eclectic mixture of all sorts of extreme metal. They range from primitive thrash to more dissonant, unusual riffing, with every now and then some Scandinavian staccato death metal riffing. They seem to enjoy some sick Autopsy-esque melodies and the basic, obscure production and some of the slow, epic parts have a first wave black metal feel. I enjoy the vocal banter, that reminds me of the rebellious shouts of Cronos sometimes. The music as a whole reminds me of Dutch band Villainy a bit.
These young Norwegians previously released full length “Mausoleum Tapestry” in 2015, and I took the liberty to check that album out as well. That record is a bit more straightforward, but has a cool, demo-ish feel and already shows the promise and sense of adventure of Sepulcher. “Panoptic Horror” brings the listener a more mature band that shows a sense of what they are doing. They have a knack for good song writing, and take the time to build up the atmosphere, managing to surprise the unsuspecting listener every now and then. With most songs around 5-6 minutes, the band has no trouble drawing the attention, with plenty of variation. And they still manage to produce a balanced sound, not just cool riffs glued together.
It took a few turns before this album really started manifesting all its deeper layers. Mostly a good sign, as far as I’m concerned. One of the better releases I’ve heard this year. (Stijn)