“Only Ashes Remain”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Finland’s death metal legacy is long and strong. Bands like DEMIGOD, CONVULSE, DEMILICH and more have helped to forge it. Based on “Only Ashes Remain”, we can safely add SEPULCHRAL CURSE to the Finnish pantheon.

This is one extremely well-written death metal album. It has all the morbidity, savagery and sickness you’d expect, but the songs are multi-faceted and full of interesting twists and turns. For once, the PR sheet nails it when they say the music ebbs and flows. It’s never too “technical” or too “melodic”, although both melody and technicality can be found. There’s a lot of killer hooks on every song, whether at full blast speed, medium paced crunch or total doomy crush. Even the 10 minutes plus “Maan Tukhien Uneen” avoids monotony, which is almost unheard of for DM songs of that length.

Really, every song has its highlight, but for me “Into the Depths Unknown” is just a beautifully constructed death metal song and a surprising mix of horror and high melody. I’ll leave you to discover the delights of the rest yourself. Along with the new ULTHAR, certainly the best death metal of 2020.