Death metal is one of those genres that have been beat to death [no pun intended] and every fiend longs for the old school goodness of yesteryear. Well, we can all thank Rex Shachath for bringing that old school sound back in a very big way with Sepulchral Torment!
Sepulchral Torment is an ode to death metal. It encompasses all the elements that made death metal what it was back in the glory days and what essentially has/had drawn people to it for all these years. Sepulchral Torment is full of thrashy influence and buzz-saw-tremelo riffing – a plenty. Rex Shachath found equilibrium between the thrash elements and the straight forward death-metal tremolo riffing perfectly. One second your head will be violently thrashing and then, sawed clean off your shoulders by the razor sharp tremolo work. Back and forth you will be thrust through unique passage and tempo that you can’t help but feel the wrath of Rex Shachath. Poorly written death metal is known for its monotonous nature, but due to the fact that Rex Shachath have amalgamated the various weapons of death-metal properly, therefore avoids the all too common “blending” problem. This is riff driven death metal that will satisfy even the pickiest of nit pickers, and this is yet only one piece of the Rex Shachath puzzle of excellence.
Nine times out of ten a death-metal band’s Achilles Heel is its vocalist. In Rex Shachath‘s case, Dave Connoly is an unholy demented demon that easily executes his duties with power and excellence. His vocal style is akin to that of Paul Speckmann of Master, just less snarly and a bit more aggressive, fans of that man will love Connoly. As enjoyable as the guitar work is at times, Connoly becomes the focal point of the whole sound and really shines through when the songs reach feverish tempo. There isn’t much to be said about Connoly other than he executes his post well and instead of re-inventing the wheel, he sticks to the tried and true death metal laurels and delivers a vocal performance that drives home the Rex Shachath pain train to hell.
The drummer’s job in death metal and in all forms of metal is to fill in the proverbial holes if you will, and truly round it out and keep the fullness there; and this is exactly what happened with Rex Shachath. It was extremely nice to hear variation in the patterns while not overpowering the sound; but instead adding to it and making the percussion presence known. The importance of great drumming in death metal is usually understated when dealing with the old school sound and Rex Shachath drive home its importance throughout the course of Sepulchral Torment. Don’t expect a blast beat bonanza instead brace yourself for thrash tinged brutality and as with the vocal performance, it’s nothing new; but it’s just done right.
Overall this effort proves that old school death metal can still be made years later and further reaffirms its relevance in a metal world that is hell-bent on modernity. If the old school greats are among your favorites, then Rex Shachath will be more than a welcomed effort.
About the Author
Anyway I'm one of the co-founders of Axis Of Metal, which I created out of a love for all things heavy. Admittedly my first foray into music wasn't so heavy. At twelve i developed a love for grunge music, which then lead to a love of classic rock, and punk. Then as I consumed almost every piece of music in said genres I needed something with a bit more intensity, and something more extreme. One day I was walking through the halls in my high school, and i heard music blasting out of someone's headphones, and it was exactly what I was looking for. So after I found out that it was Slayer's "Disciple" I went home that day, and listened to every song Slayer had ever released, and that's how it all started.
So that's my story, so why not go out and listen to me blabber on, on the podcast or go and read what the Axis Of Metal's writing team has to say. Axis of Metal is created by metal heads, for metal heads.