Sarcoptes – Songs and Dances of Death (Review)

SarcoptesSarcoptes are a black metal band from the US. This is their début album.

This record makes me feel nostalgic. The band play a classic style of black metal that incorporates elements of the 90s symphonic style alongside a few thrashier bits here and there. It really does take me back to the early days of bands like Cradle of Filth, Emperor, Bal-Sagoth, Hecate Enthroned, Dimmu Borgir, etc.

The singer has a very pleasing rasp that sometimes descends into demonic growls and other sounds. He comes across as a mix of the Cradle of Filth/Hecate Enthroned singers and I like his voice a lot.

The drumming is solid and intense, full of blast beats and rolling double bass. The thrashier bits are equally tasty and it all fits together with the guitars and keyboards very well. Speaking of, I particularly enjoy the symphonic aspects of this band. This is one of the main parts of their sound that makes me have that nostalgic feeling for early 90s black metal as it just epitomises the style so very well in many ways. It’s great to hear once more and really makes me want to dig out some albums from that time and listen to them again.

Nostalgia aside, taken entirely on its own merits Songs and Dances of Death is still a strong album. People looking for the next, best thing or the latest black metal mutation or experimental weirdness won’t find much here to their liking, but to anyone who likes black metal with some quality keyboards and an aura of horror-filled biting menace, then check this out.

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