שְׁאוֹל (Sheol) [UK]
Sepulchral Ruins Below the Temple
Iron Bonehead Productions
Eastern themes seem to be rather popular of late, what with the recent Vedic-influenced release of Cult of Fire and Rudra‘s latest release. שְׁאוֹל draws upon Hebrew influences, with their name being simply translated as “grave”, “hell” and all other things related to death and the underworld, and Sepulchral Ruins Below the Temple is the band’s debut EP, unleashing their brand of death upon the masses.
The ritualistic element is immediately clear right from the opening moments of Spiritual Desiccation, and the gritty guitar tone that greets the listener easily leaves one in the setting of an abandoned temple, complete with the cavernous sound and raw and filthy atmosphere. As soon as the title track hits the listener, one is quickly reminded of Finnish bands such as Depravity and Purtenance, with the buzzsaw guitar tone that is not unlike Swedish bands like Dismember or Demonical, along with the oppressive style of bands like Incantation or Grave Miasma.
Unfortunately, while I am certainly a fan of such filthy style of death metal, there are some things that really bug me over here, with the biggest thing being the drumming on the album. As if to ensure that Sepulchral Ruins Below the Temple sound as authentic as possible, there are moments where the drums sound almost out of pace with the rest of the instruments, and this definitely confuses the listener at times.
Overall though, Sepulchral Ruins Below the Temple is still quite a decent effort by שְׁאוֹל, and one that is worth checking out for fans of old school, raw and chaotic death metal.