Death metal’s recent tactical retreat into the infernal shadows has been a hugely welcome development, the genre’s resistance to facile modernity rescuing it from mindless homogenisation.
What is seldom noted, however, is how credibly bands like Sulphur Aeon can combine old-school atmospheres with the destructive power and clarity of modern production. Gateway To The Antisphere is a monumental splurge of ominous grandeur and brute force that marks the German crew out as potential heavyweights who could survive a few rounds with the likes of Vader and Behemoth.
In less skilled hands, a song as ferocious and muscular as Titans could end up sounding like a formulaic throwback, but SA have tapped aggressively into the macabre aesthetic of their Lovecraftian nightmares, resulting in a visceral and overpowering sprint through mutant landscapes and hellish wastes.
Less intricate than Nile, but with epic intent, the likes of Seventy Steps deftly evoke man’s desperate attempts to fend off the dying of the light via some of the heaviest DM of the last few years./o:p