Austerymn – Sepulchrum Viventium (2015)
Review by Jude Felton
Even though the band has been around, in one guise or another, since the early 90’s, it wasn’t until late in 2013 that I became acquainted with the UK death metal beast that is Austerymn. Their demo, In Death..we Trust, was released on cassette and digital by Goatprayer Records, and was quite excellent. Featuring two tracks; Excarnation and the title track, it was a short, sharp and raw taster of things to come.
Fast forward to April of this year and Austerymn have their debut album released by Spanish label, Memento Mori, and what a treat it is! This is eleven tracks, plus a short intro, of blistering thunder and thoroughly memorable tunes. There is no filler on Sepulchrum Viventium.
In terms of their music, Austerymn play a straightforward, pure death metal with influence taken from the classic sounds of both late 80s US death metal, as well as the early 90s Swedish death metal style and a sly nod to the guitar sound of classic Maiden and Priest. However, even with these influences they still retain their own identity on an album that is as fresh as it is exciting to listen to.
Both tunes from the In Death..we Trust release show up here, albeit having been re-recorded and beefed up tenfold, sounding quite magnificent. It’s the sound of a band that has continued to grow and hone their craft, and the results have paid off substantially. It is also a refreshing change to have, not only, guitar solos in their songs, but solos that sound damned good, and fit the songs. Rather than just throw in some guitar wankery, and hope it fits, these are classic sounding and just add another layer to Austerymn’s death metal mayhem.
Although the album is incredibly strong, from start to finish, I obviously have my favorite tunes, and they are simply outstanding. Written in Scars and Darkness Burns Forever are both absolutely stunning, and have both almost caused me to have accidents whilst driving… I jest, of course, but they are both songs that make you want to stop what you’re doing and just let rip.
What impresses me most about this album is that it not only sounds fantastic, it is also one that has had time and patience taken on it. So many new bands have their first album thrust out into the world, after only being together 5 minutes as a band, and try as I might I cannot see what all the fuss is about. Believe me, there are a ton of them out there. Maybe they fit the current trend of what is popular, or they have the ‘right’ image, who the hell knows? More often than not they do not have the songs though. Sepulchrum Viventium takes me back to the time where I could tell you every tune on an album, in order, regardless of genre, because the songs are here.
With about 50,000 albums being released each week, it definitely gets harder to choose where to throw down your hard-earned cash, but this is one album that should definitely be on your priority list. Quite simply put it is an immense musical excursion into what great, not good, death metal should be.
Sepulchrum Viventium will bludgeon, beat and bruise you, from start to finish. Not only will you not mind, you will be thankful for it, as it will leave you a better person for it!
1 - Intro
2 - Feeding the Grotesque
3 - Written in Scars
4 - Bleeding Reality
5 - Excarnation
6 - Darkness Burns Forever
7 - The Living Grave
8 - In Death.. we Trust
9 - Necrolation
10 - Buried Alive
11 - Dead
12 - Riven
Sepulchrum Viventium was released on April 25th by Memento Mori