Desolator – Sermon of Apathy
What’s purple and orange and fun all over? If you guessed death metal, then you’d be right! It’s Desolator – Sermon of Apathy, and it’s really, really good.
Well, that’s it, that’s the review.
At least that’s what I’d say if I wasn’t a good reviewer, but let’s dive in and find out why I love this album already.
2020 has been a very eventful year, with the pandemic, with strife and fear of the unknown, and death metal has been providing a woeful soundtrack for the apocalypse. If there’s any silver linings, it’s that some really great, kick ass music has been coming out. Inspiration, perhaps?
Enter “Sermon of Apathy“, the second full-length album by Sweden’s Desolator. Imagine a world full of terror, it’s dark, quiet, desolate, eerie. Then, all of a sudden, you hear a sound in the distance, a chant, bringing forth a monster from the underground. You’re pulled into a portal of loud, heavy riffs, pounding drums and haunting growls. Like impending doom, the first track Portal Tomb is quite literally that!-sending the listener on a journey through hell.
Of Lovecraftian horror, turbulent seas, and terrifying beings, Sermon of Apathy is 40 minutes of some of the best death metal that you can find. In a world where everyone wants to be Dismember, Desolator steps away from the Swedish influence that their first album, “Unearthly Monument“, held, and instead, invokes influence from the legendary Immolation, Morbid Angel, and a plethora of American bands, many of which are known for dabbling into the occult and the unknown.
Three vocalists each have a share in Desolator, the trio of Jonas Bergkvist, Joakim Rudemyr and Stefan Nordström, and with the powerful beats from Victor Parri, all work together to create a brutal, yet melodic soundtrack to the end of days, a soundtrack to your doom.
Like a fast moving train, Portal Tomb sucks the listener in, through the nightmare, without stopping for a break, like a pit of madness. Things start to slow down around Methods of Self-Deception, but this is death metal! We don’t do slow! Oh no, this is only the eye of the storm, and just when you think it’s safe, the slow and melodic tunes bouncing off the walls, you’re sucked further in with The Human Condition, picking up where Creatures of Habit left off at. Vaticide pulls you in even further, and I know it seems almost redundant to keep referring to this album like a ghastly journey, but that’s exactly what “Sermon of Apathy” is, and when you’ve reached the last track, The Great Law of the Dead, it comes to a relief that the nightmare is over.
Of Lovecraftian horror, turbulent seas, and terrifying beings, Sermon of Apathy is 40 minutes of some of the best death metal that you can find.
But alas, things aren’t as they seem.
No, just before leaving you off to safety, we still have to torture you a little more. Enter The Great Law of the Dead, a (just about) 9 minute hauntfest that starts again slow and eerie, setting the mood for the end. Like eyes peering, looking for the exit, looking for salvation, the monster finally gets their hands on you. Bare with me, this album is like a story, and I’m telling it like one. And this monster comes in the form of none other than Karl Sanders, guest-starring from US metallers Nile. If 40 minutes seems like a long time, well, time flies when you’re having fun. For me, albums that go past around 40-45 minutes barely stand to hold my attention; not because they aren’t good, on the contrary, they’re great, but sometimes a tad bit too long. “Sermon of Apathy” clocks in at just about the right time to not only keep my attention span, but also to let the listener headbang and mosh through living rooms and (eventual!) concert venues. Of hand curling death metal growls and chant-able chorus lines, this album can bring in both newcomers to the scene, and older death metal fans looking for something new. “Sermon of Apathy” is death metal the way it’s supposed to be played; fast, doomy, spooky, melodic, torturous. Gorgeous.
Of Lovecraftian horror, turbulent seas, and terrifying beings, Sermon of Apathy is 40 minutes of some of the best death metal that you can find. If you get any death metal albums this year, let Sermon of Apathy be at the top of your list!
If you get any death metal albums this year, let Sermon of Apathy be at the top of your list!