Just a few years after their debut back in 2020, Finland’s Sepulchral Curse are back at it with a new album entitled ‘Abhorrent Dimensions.’ It is gritty, yet refined, and not quite as epic as the debut. It sounds like the band has aimed for a tighter, shorter release that almost seems to border more Doom than Blackened Death Metal, touching on the likes of bands anywhere from Immolation to Gatecreeper to Suffering Hour. The music is heavy, cavernous, and chaotic such as the opener ‘Onward the Legions’ which is typical fast, brutal Blackened Death fare that many fans are used to and then there are the slower, groove oriented pieces with melodic touches such as ‘Burial of Souls’ with its foreboding melodic touches with the guitars that clash a bit with the more brutal side, but fits in nicely with the rest of the song altogether. Listeners should expect the drumming and vocals to be the front the aggressive side, thunderous and cavernous with little room for softness or quiet, leaving the guitars to do the work of that (but not too much).
Groove is another factor that Sepulchral Curse pride themselves on this album. Sure there are the tremolo picking moments, but one cannot help but nod their head when a track like ‘The Serpents of Uncreation’ comes on and while the pace is slower it still stomps along. A bit more on the Death Metal side than Black or Doom Metal, this will easily become a fan favorite for its raw power. For slower, Doom laden stompers, ‘Graveyard Lanterns’ is an excellent choice as it crawls along despite repetitive riffs, but once things get to the solo which is more melodic and less thunderous than usual, it gives a bit more variety for the album without losing its signature sound or sounding like the band is going in a different direction. It still stomps hard.
The only downside to the album is the shortness. Sepulchral Curse did gift fans with longer tracks and more epic touches and here on ‘Abhorrent Dimensions’ it feels like a lot of the epic touches were left behind. Many of the tracks barely cross into the 5 minute mark, so those expecting some monstrous, distorted, epic that would be fitting for the band’s standards is not going to be found here. That being said, despite a shorter run time, the album does feel a bit refined and not stretched as much. The 11 minute closer on ‘Only Ashes Remain’ from back in 2020 was a bit excessive to deal with, and it sounds like with ‘Abhorrent Dimensions’ a lot of the fat and filler has been cut away from tracks for just a solid Blackened Death with touches of Doom experience. Fans will find that Sepulchral Curse are still going strong and while tweaking the formula just a bit have the ability to still impress fans with a loud, if not melodic at times, well crafted Death Metal record. A bit of the old-school for fans of the 90s era with a rougher sound but not being just a full guitars and vocals to the wall like the typical Cannibal Corpse album.