Photo by Tomek Kaminski
“Sermon of Apathy”, the brand-new DESOLATOR album will be out on September 4th, via Black Lion Records, featuring seven tracks of monolithic, pummelling death metal.
Desolator have been treading the hallowed ground of the Swedish death metal scene since 2009. Through an early demo (Gravefeast, 2010), a split (Dark Revival/Mass Human Pyre, 2011), and especially the triumphant Unearthly Monument full length in 2013, the quartet paid proper homage to the buzzsaw sound of the Stockholm masters of yore. Having conquered the saw, the band chose to start to move in another direction with their 2016 EP Spawn of Misanthropy. The four tracks begin to show a move away from the Stockholm sound with the addition of more dissonance and creative riffing akin to the work of early Morbid Angel and Immolation. Black Lion Records saw the promise of this sound in embryo, signing the band and re-releasing Spawn of Misanthropy on CD in 2018.
Make no mistake, Desolator are Swedish death metal still. Sermon of Apathy, the latest effort by the band, shows plenty of teeth still. The buzzsaw may be buried a bit, the teeth not as obvious, but the saw still spins. On Sermon, the idea that Desolator began to birth in 2016 comes to full fruition. For you see, Sermon of Apathy is a Frankenstein’s monster of death metal, fully sentient and fully functioning. The aggression of the Stockholm sound is tempered with creative and dissonant riffing reminiscent of the above named US death metal masters. This album does a masterful job of saluting key death metal styles of the past, while drawing from those styles to create their own unique path.
More specifically, Desolator pair varied and vibrant drumming with explosively creative bass to create a foundation simultaneous solid as bedrock and as shifting as the sands of the Sahara. At no point is there any hint that the rhythm is off, but there are many points where the listener is made to feel deliciously off kilter. From double bass to blasting to syncopation to near tribal toms speak to the scope of the drumming. Atop this plateau of power, riffs swirl and dive, some traditional OSDM and others seemingly from another universe entirely. All are made to fit into the dark tapestry being woven, with nary a thread out of place. The distinctive growls give a further edge to the album, providing another layer of abrasion, often in direct contrast to the more melodic riffing.
Sermon of Apathy is a slow burning fire. The seven tracks build on each other, each fanning the flames of the next track, until they leap high and the embers glow white hot. The album is such an engaging listen, the conflagration is upon you before you realize it. Forged in the crucible of death metal past and present, Sermon of Apathy is pure elemental metal of death, made to stand the test of time, igniting listeners in this generation and beyond.
Sermon of Apathy is a feast for fans of classic U.S. bands like Immolation and Morbid Angel, but there are also traces of good old catchy Swedish death metal. Desolator hasn’t forgotten about the old school riffing!
Sermon of Apathy tracklist:
1. Portal Tomb
2. Adversarial Doctrine
3. Creatures of Habit
4. Methods of Self-deception
5. The Human Condition
7. The Great Law of the Dead
Mixing and mastering has been handled by metal audio aficionado Jari Lindholm. Fittingly, the music is accompanied by gruesome, dystopian artwork by well-regarded death metal artist Alex Tartsus. If that wasn’t enough, here’s the ultimate icing on the cake: an epic guest solo by Nile legend Karl Sanders.
“Sermon of Apathy” is the ultimate statement from this Swedish quartet, being both aggressive, epic, atmospheric and plain catchy. Death metal fans – mark September 4th in your calendars!