Sound: Sarpanitum hail from Birmingham England whom formed back in 2003. They released their debut album "Despoilment Of Origin" in February 2007 upon Galactic records.
Despoilment Of Origin is a fierce and confident death metal record, but I feel just to call them a death metal band doesn't quite do the band justice, since they bring a lot of other influences out on this album, such as the strong atmospheric black metal sound prominent through the entire record. On their myspace they state that the music they play is "Brutal Blackened Death Metal". The album clocks in at a little above 35 minutes with 8 tracks that are:
01. Seducing the Phallus Throne
02. Halls of Decadence
03. Ascending the Divine
04. Provocation of an Eternal Odium
05. Dusk Over Assyria
06. Cur Defilement
07. Dawn of Enthrallment
08. Despoilment of Origin
The line up on this record is:
Andy Techakosit - vocals/bass
Thomas Hyde - Guitar
Tom Innocenti - Guitar
Sean Broster - Drums
I probably like a handful of many other people first heard of Sarpanitum through the "Terrorizer" magazine which I was actually handed to by a friend who didn't want the fear candy 43 Cd. Kerrang magazine also stated "All hail the new kings of the British Metal Underground!" which is all just typical magazine writing in my opinion, but after hearing the song "Ascending The Divine" from the fear candy Cd, I didn't hesitate to go online and buy the record. The sound of this album is quite open and has quite a big sound almost as if it was recorded in a big hall, you can hear the reverb/echo production.
This album is raw which makes it sound one hundred percent natural at the same time. People as they do when a band comes along often try to compare one with another, I have read people comparing them to the likes of "Nile", "Behemoth" and all those kind of bands. This album certainly falls heavily under the "Brutal Death Metal" Genre, with the fast blasting and pinch harmonics throughout the record. But as I mentioned before the band bring other influences through out this record most notably the strong black metal sound. The Guitars are heavy and do quite a lot of fast tremolo picking with the obvious palm muted power chords. The guitars do a bit of sweeping here and there which is definitely cool, since sweeping is one of my favorite techniques on the guitar. There is quite a lot of melody when one really hears through the wall of noise one might feel after hearing this record.
This is backed up by the epic sounding choir singing on a couple of songs through the album similar to what Nile have done. The drumming on this album has quite a sloppy feel in my opinion but still very tight nonetheless. The speed of the drums are usually pretty much straightforward blasting with a lot of variations/fills. The bass is pretty much following along with the guitars doesn't really stand out as much as say Necrophagist, Cannibal Corpse, but it has a crackling low Slinky like tuning which pops in and out similar to Cannibal Corpse, but doesn't stand out as much as I said. Overall the sound of this album is pretty dark but a lot of the guitars riff are catchy like from 0:16 to 0:33 of the track "Dawn Of Enthrallment" // 9
Lyrics: The vocals are pretty diverse even though there's just really two type of vocals that Andy Techakosit really does. The album mixes between his low fierce growl to the high shrieking scream. The lyrics are generally about Mesopotamian Mythology, stuff likes gods/goddesses and monsters. The lyrics weren't printed in the booklet so I found some on the internet.
Here are some of the lyrics to "Provocation Of An Eternal Odium":
"Revived are sentiments towards your brethren
Coercing emotions have set your vigour Crown
Exodus, envisions of Kur
Provocation to salvage light
Adorn as she waits, martyrdom will ingress
Odyssey of Inanna
Odyssey of Inanna
Exodus, envisions of Kur
Ascendancy, envisions of Kur
a plight which shall not rest
For the gods will trust in your"
So the lyrics are pretty much like that, I think the lyrics match the music pretty good, especially when it gets pretty epic, like towards to the end of "Provocation Of An Eternal Odium". // 8
Overall Impression: For a debut album this is pretty impressive more so because of the great musicianship through out it which is something many metal bands can seem to lack nowadays with most seem to trying to out do each other in terms of technicality and speed, don't get me wrong Sarpanitum are technical and a pretty fast band, but this album unlike a lot of brutal death metal albums I've listened before is kind of like a fresh of breathe air because once again the stellar musicianship present on this record. If I had to really compare this to any other artist I've heard just to give someone a general idea of what they can except when approaching the beast that is "Sarpanitum". I would say "Nile" because of the heavy use of blast beats and very memorable melodic guitar lines that they both seem to incorporate.
A great release, I highly recommend any metal fan to check out this release even if one does not like death metal music that much, because of the stellar memorable and great musicianship. This album will probably take more than one listen to really digest and get the hang of, but after that, one will really start to see the brilliance of the songs on this record. The band are all still pretty young, so it will be pretty interesting to see what they have in store for future releases. Stand Out tracks: Ascending the divine, Provocation Of an Eternal Odium, Cur Defilement and Despoilment Of Origin.
Thanks for reading check out the bands MySpace to hear what they sound like. // 8