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Sar Isatum – Shurpu

Sar Isatum
Shurpu
by Erik Akos at 26 February 2018, 10:16 PM

SAR ISATUM are an American musical collective from the state of Colorado. Formed in Denver just 2 years ago in 2016, they debuted last year with their strangely (for an American band) titled album ”Shurpu”.

The music though, isn’t as weird or unorthodox as the album and song titles. I’d even go as far as to say that the album is pretty catchy - for Black Metal standards - especially the title-track. Of course that’s something that’s really hard to pull of as an Extreme Metal band, so they deserve props for that. Other positives include the drumming work of JP Dalkhu. It’s fun to listen to and not that complex, but is also not watered-down or basic. Thankfully, there are very few blast beats on the record; gosh, I hate those so much, they’re the pinnacle of uninspired drumming.

I also liked the symphonic musical elements, even though I felt like they were somewhat underutilized, and only incorporated in the songs’ intro and/or outro sections. They could have done great things with some epic orchestral instrumentation in the midst of the compositions, for they would have served as a great contrast to the overall aggression of the guitars and vocals.

Speaking of the vocals, screamer Demothi is mostly lacklustre, and when he isn’t, it’s only because he actually pushes himself a little more than usual; but honestly, there’s nothing special about his tone, technique or delivery, his vocals are just ’fine’.

As for the negative aspects of the LP, it becomes boring towards the last 1-2 songs - I think they should have made ”Shurpu” a 5-song EP, for it has a working formula, but the lack of experimenting and I guess ”bravery” makes this effort something that left me wanting much more higher standards for an actual Long Play.

SAR ISATUM have potential, and a solid base Black Metal sound. It’s something they can use as a foundation and progress it into something very unique and truly great. But for a first try, they didn’t succeed, which itself, of course, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it simply just doesn’t make for a very good record.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorablity: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Sar Isatum
  2. Chenoo
  3. Black Gate
  4. Gormandizer
  5. Celestial Diaspora
  6. Vanaspati
  7. Halls of Pestilence
Lineup:
Demothi - Vocals
Seven - Guitars
Lesath - Keyboards
Cannibal Chris - Bass
JP Dalkhu - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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