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Sijjin - Sumerian Promises

Sumerian Promises
by Hutch at 03 January 2022, 4:20 AM

Drawing their name from Arabic, SIJJIN means a place at the bottom of hell in Islam. There can be few bands more appropriately named for this three-piece collaboration of Basque and German play some of the best and horrific death metal I’ve heard in a long time. Formed in 2019, the band’s “Angel of the Eastern Gate” demo quickly gained interest and their debut album, released in November 2021 should have sent waves through the death metal elite. If an album makes the top five death metal albums of 2021 on the esteemed Worship Metal site, you know that this is a band worth getting the listening gear wrapped around.

With two members of SIJJIN rising from the ashes of NECROS CHRISTOS, what “Sumerian Promises” brings to the table is a pleasingly refreshing combination of death and thrash metal wrapped up in a curled fist which slams repeatedly to the skull. The difference from many of the mainstream death metal beasts who roam the earth today is the visceral guitar work of Ekaitz Garmendia, who shreds with a lacerating precision that is lethal. Supported by a solid rhythm section who not only provide a concrete foundation but also drive each bruiser of a track forward. Throw in Malte Gericke’s guttural vocal delivery and you have an album that hits harder than a bolt gun from the start.

No messing around with intro tapes or atmospheric build ups, SIJJIN kick things off in violent fashion with the pulverising “Daemon Blessex”. It’s fast, furious but also comprehendible. Yes, you can understand the lyrics despite the gruff delivery which so often is a challenge. Huge crushing riffs hit like tsunami waves crashing on a beach and the urge to bang the head is intense.

From what I read in the bio, SIJJIN hit this album hard in the recording studio, delivering full takes from which to draw from. It’s pulverising stuff, but with variation contained within. From the unconventional “Angel of the Eastern Gate” with its staccato time signature, the gentle instrumental “Hunting the Lizard” which sits in the middle of the record and provides a haven of tranquillity amidst the hurricane which rages either side and the grinding finale “Condemned by Primal Contact”, this is an album that certainly lives up to its billing.

With themes of Sumerian mythology nestles alongside more traditional fare, “Sumerian Promises” is an album that every death metal fan needs to hear. It’s excellent.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Daemon Blessex
2. Dagger of A Thousand Deaths
3. Those Who Wait to Enter
4. Sumerian Promises
5. Angel of The Eastern Gate
6. Hunting the Lizard
7. Unchain the Ghost
8. Darkness on Saqqara
9. White Mantras Bleed from Black Magic
10. Outer Chambers of Entity
11. Condemned by Primal Contact
Malte Gericke: Vocals & Bass
Ekaitz Garmendia: Guitar
Iván Hernández: Drums
Record Label: Sepulchral Voice


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