December 1, 2013

Filthy Music Review - 'שְׁאוֹל (Sheol): Sepulchral Ruins Below the Temple'

Sheol - Sepulchral Ruins Below The Temple (2013)

Iron Bonehead Productions/Invictus Productions 

Review by Trevor Proctor

Roughly translated from Hebrew Sheol means grave or place of the dead and December sees the release of Sheol’s eagerly anticipated debut EP – “Sepulchral Ruins Below The Temple.” Consisting of only two members, A.B.S. (vocals, guitar, bass) and A.H.S. (drums and guitar) Sheol play a brutal, coarse, raw style of death metal interspersed with occult themes.

Spiritual Desiccation is the opening track, it begins slowly but just a minute in and Sheol reveal their brutality in the most efficient of fashions, this is only a two minute track but it’s laced with breakneck, potent death metal drumming, a few guttural growls and exceptional guitar work.

The relentless onslaught continues until the fourth track, Katachthomb - an interesting instrumental trip into the bowels of Sheol’s hell – it’s only a brief respite though as title track Sepulchral Ruins below the Temple returns us to Sheol’s world of death and ferocity. Also included is a cover of Darkthrone’s classic track “Cromlech” it’s an excellent version that stays true to the original and makes for a nice closer for this outstanding debut.

There are plenty of nods towards pioneering early death metal releases but by no means whatsoever is this a nostalgia act – Sheol resist the temptation to sound like rehashed ideas, they reformulate death metal and give it a twist that’s all their own, reminding us what the genre is all about.

Death metal fans are fortunate of late as there is an evil horde of quality death metal bands who are redefining the genre and bringing it back to the values of old – they don’t over complicate their music with overwhelming technicality or imagery and there is a lot more to their music than simply rehashed versions of old glories. All we have to do is consider the quality of acts on the rosters of labels like Iron Bonehead and Invictus Productions to see how promising the future is, with labels like this releasing music of this standard the future of death metal’s underground hasn’t looked as encouraging for a long time. I hope Sepulchral Ruins below the Temple is only the beginning of Sheol’s career and I can’t wait to hear a full length release from them.

This is due to be released on vinyl by Iron Bonehead Productions and on cd by Invictus Productions in December with digital formats available now. Right from the off this is a seriously exceptional EP that reminds us why we fell in love with death metal to begin with – an essential addition to any serious death metal collection, if you don’t love this you don’t truly love the genre.



Spiritual Desiccation

Deluge of Tehom

Perpetual Descent into She'ol


Sepulchral Ruins Below the Temple

Cromlech (Darkthrone cover)


Sepulchral Ruins Below the Temple is available now from Iron Bonehead Productions and Invictus Productions.

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