Sulphurous Temple by Sortilegia

Release date: November 24, 2017
Label: Ván Records

Caveman black metal is a great descriptor from the press release here, as this new offering from Sortilegia sounds dark, shadowy, subterranean, yet viscerally primitive as well. At first, the sound of the voice on the first track is an animal shout, a sonic analogue of that picture on the Obsessed cover, aka Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son, deranged and violent. Later on there’s some more brilliant vocals, this time in the wailing-from-the-condemned-prisoner-chucked-down-a-well style.

Meanwhile, the relentless drums just keep on going and the riffs are perfectly unhinged. The first two tracks, ‘Temple Night’s Mouth’ and ‘Speculum Tenebrarum’ blend seamlessly into an energetic, frenetic buzz, but there’s a slight change of pace with the doomy intro to long track ‘Ecstasies of the Sabbath’, which is almost drone-like in it’s insistence, while keeping to the boulderstrewn rocky path of wild black metal energy. Again and again we circulate around the same maddening riff plateaus, perhaps bouncing off unforgiving cell walls or lost in a mountainous barren landscape.

‘The Veil’ is a more ambient middle track, a foreboding hum like an ill-advised wanderer to monstrous realms gingerly poking around in hedges and dark corners, certain to find hideous destruction just around the next corner. Sure enough, in ‘Hymn for the Egregor’ a similar ambience soon erupts into more mid-paced stamping and growling. The riffs pummel on and on, and again the vocals really add urgency to the sense of fierceness and pain-driven insanity. Finally, ‘Exalting in Acrid Flames’, the whole lot burns up, leaving nothing but scorched earth and stinking smoke in your stunned mind.

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