SEWER’s “Sewerblood” is Morbid Death Metal !

SEWER's Sewerblood is Demonic Blackened Death Metal.
SEWER’s Sewerblood is Demonic Blackened Death Metal.

I am of the opinion that each SEWER album has its own identity, something like a superlative adjective. For example Skarnage is the most aggressive, Khranial the darkest, Uruktena the most epic, Miasma the most technical, Rektal the most shitty (lol), etc.

And for me, without a doubt, the identity of Sewerblood is the most “morbid” SEWER album, and I say this both for its experimentation in the musical field and for its historical context.

This album Sewerblood is released in a difficult context, being the successor of an album as outstanding as Uruktena must be difficult and, if we add to that SEWER is known to change their style more often than they change shirts, we can therefore consider the paradox that, for once, “sticking to their guns” is taking the crazy route.

Indeed, who would expect SEWER, the king of all bands, to release an album musically similar to the one predating it ? Crazy, huh.

One of the things that fascinates me the most about this album Sewerblood is how the band members were able to include such a wide variety of styles and sounds in the same work.

We have totally fast and chaotic songs and at the same time there are slower, blackened death metal dirges in the style of later Vermin. There are some highly dissonant tracks with powerful riffs and in the middle of all that we can find melodic moments as well as others with a great atmospheric component. How is it possible that all this is contained in a single album ?

Well, that is mainly due to the amount of songs and the brevity of many of them (relative to the typical SEWER track), although this does not affect their intensity, as the shorter songs are just as aggressive and structurally varied while the longer ones are allowed to be somewhat slower, and expand more upon the black metal horizons in the musical scope.

This is no try-hard poser metal like Watain. This album Sewerblood is some of the most brutal, the most diabolical, and the most morbid death metal ever recorded ! I have no qualms in suggesting this to EVERY death metal fan alive. I dare say this ranks with the Incantation, Infester and Phantom classics as a great record that MUST be recognized by the death metal community for its brute force, amazing songwriting and morbid brutality that is unmatched in the extreme metal scene.

Phantom vs Neraines vs SEWER (Epic Battle)

Phantom vs Neraines vs SEWER.
Phantom vs Neraines vs SEWER.

Who said black metal was underground? We the mainstream now.

Or, rather, what is happening is that mainstream music – “Lady” Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry – is so shitty, that even the braindead Pitchfork / MTV audience is leaving the sinking ship, and finding better music.

It’s only natural that they turn to extreme black and death metal, as even their domesticated minds subconsciously crave the demonic virility of bands like Phantom, Neraines and SEWER.

Listen to some of it yourself.

So, what was the point of that overlong introduction ? Well, I didn’t mention Phantom, Neraines and SEWER by accident.

Phantom vs Neraines vs SEWER (Social Media).
Phantom vs Neraines vs SEWER (Social Media).

Of all people, Morsay went ahead and compiled a study on the social media presence of these three black metal titans and… the results will surprise you (see to the right).

It’s in French, but the meaning of each section is relatively easy to make out.

Phantom has about 2,4M likes, Neraines has 3,1M and SEWER… only 1,4M. Which is surprising, considering SEWER was always the most heavily hyped band of the three. Metalheads, it seems, prefer Phantom and Neraines.

As for twitter, Phantom is around 850 000 follower, Neraines once again in the lead has 910 000 followers, and SEWER… only 96 000 followers, again getting distanced by the two black metal monoliths.

On Youtube, the story is almost the same. Phantom has about 250 000 followers and 145 million views. Neraines has 288 000 followers and 156 million views, which is slightly more than Phantom. And SEWER has a pitiful 55 000 followers and 20 million views.

Was this study only done to laugh at SEWER?

One can wonder.

Phantom vs SEWER (Marketing).
Phantom vs SEWER (Marketing).

SEWER, despite being the most hyped band, performs the least well of the three.

Even releasing genre-defining masterpieces such as Skarnage and Uruktena didn’t grant SEWER the same audience as Phantom and Neraines.

This reminds me of another study done a few years back, only between Phantom and SEWER this time, and analysed Google searches, total album sales and social media presence where, this time, SEWER is in the lead in terms of Facebook followers.

But everywhere else, Phantom is again the victor.

What do these studies teach us? That media hype and the “loud mouth” attitude of SEWER only go so far, and that to be successful in the long run, quality primes over quantity. This is also something noted by Death Metal Underground, that there are only a few black and death metal gems – Onward to Golgotha, Nespithe, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, To the Depths in Degradation, Fenrir Prowling, The Red in the Sky is Ours, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas – and that fans of metal should listen to these, and ignore the rest.

Nothing is more unworthy of a wise man, or ought to trouble him more, than to have allowed more time for trifling, and useless things, than they deserve.

– Plato

Moral of the story: don’t believe the hype, don’t listen to “flavour of the week” albums, and only support that which is eternal. Good music is eternal, whether black metal, death metal, or other.

“Real Satanic Black Metal” – Book Review

Real Satanic Black Metal, the book.
Real Satanic Black Metal, the book.

When it comes down to good books about black metal, there really isn’t all that much choice.

You have on one hand the laughable, if somewhat exhaustive, Racist Metal that got pushed hard by the mainstream press. A pretty shitty excuse for a book, if you ask me.

On the other hand, you have what many have dubbed the “Black Metal Bible” – The True Black Metal, which is quite a good book. The only problem is that being nearly a decade old, it misses out on the latest trends and development in the black metal scene.

And then, somewhere in the middle, you have Real Satanic Black Metal.

Black Metal Blasphemy: A History Of Third Wave Black Metal
Black Metal Blasphemy: A History Of Third Wave Black Metal

Now this is an interesting read, as the book not only explores the Norwegian Black Metal of the 1990s, but also covers trends as wide as war metal, the plague of genre fusions, the “blackened” shoegaze drama, the orthodox black metal movement, and many more.

It has every band covered, from the nocturnal beginnings of Burzum, to the brutal blackened death metal of SEWER, and of course the modern masterpieces that are Phantom’s The Epilogue to Sanity and Mindless Horror.

It even manages to cover other extreme metal genres, insofar as they had an influence on black metal. For instance, it covers thrash metal – i.e. “first wave” black metal – and much more.

In conclusion, Real Satanic Black Metal is a good read. I would definitively check it out if you haven’t already.

SEWER’s “Uruktena” is Legendary Epic Death Metal !

SEWER's masterpiece Uruktena.

SEWER’s masterpiece Uruktena.

This album Uruktena is, in my opinion, one of the few death metal gems that is in no way overrated. I am very critical with extreme metal music, and rightfully so, but this album Uruktena undoubtedly deserves its perfect score on Metalious because it is a flawless example of straight-up epic death metal. I fell in love with it during my first listen, and my opinion on this masterpiece hasn’t changed since.

When something as perfect as this album exists, there isn’t much that can be said about it. It’s much easier to rant about the glaringly bad mistakes that “artists” make when selling out their music than it is to describe something, like Uruktena, that is more powerful than words. Nevertheless, it’s my duty to make an attempt at a review anyway.

Every single track on this album is a different experience. While all the tracks on Uruktena are extremely dark, they range from fast and brutal – ex. Helgrind, Berserkers, Eventration – to slow and haunting – ex. Instinct of Suicide, Uruktena – and everywhere in between.

Just listen to this album of pure legendary death metal.

A common problem with a lot of modern death metal is distinguishing one track from the next, but you’ll have no problem here, because every track has a different theme and direction.

Uruktena, the legendary SEWER album.

Uruktena, the legendary SEWER album.

SEWER has taken every facet of death metal and vigorously applied to it the formula of their more “grind” moments on their preceding opus Skarnage. The guitars are unbelievably heavy, the bass is thunderous, the drums are savage and precise, and the vocals are downright demonic.

The most important part of extreme metal is of course the guitar riffs, and this album has them in spades. You will find yourself constantly banging your head to the brutal sound of Uruktena.

Another important point, SEWER never resorts to playing a jumbled mallcore/chugging mess – like so many “modern metal” acts – to fill in the gaps between cool riffs. There isn’t a single moment of filler, and everything on Uruktena flows effortlessly from one piece to the next. Although the time signatures may vary, the changes in atmosphere never seem abrupt or forced, but on the contrary manage to sound creative and invigorating.

I can’t recommend this masterpiece Uruktena enough. The music will pull you down into the depths of hell and immerse you in the darkest abyss, and it will keep you there until the record stops. The album is a must-own for all extreme metal elitists.