Sepulchre by the Sea’s music is a hybrid form of modern/traditional black metal, expressed in an atmospheric style and enhanced with elements of post-rock and blackgaze. This approach results in a sprawling post-black metal epic that unfolds across 58 minutes of evocative, well-written music.
The songs take us on a textured journey into blackened territories, encompassing a variety of moods, feelings, paces, and styles. Emotive melodies seem to soar and wind themselves around the music, sometimes taking centre stage, while at other times adopting more of a support role. Frequently melancholic, even when being aggressive, the music uses these melodies very effectively. Keyboards are well-placed, providing relatively subtle highlights when they appear.
The rhythm guitars are frequently more inventive than those of your standard black metal act. Although more classic-influenced parts can be heard, there’s a lot of post-metal and non-black metal riffs and rhythms that have been given the blackened treatment and forced into the service of these songs in creative and well-realised ways. Light and shade are used well too, with the post-rock side of the band having plenty of strong outings.
The songs all have their own personality and character, with each one exhibiting the great deal of thought and effort that has clearly gone into the music’s creation. Of the band’s influences and the different elements that have been used on Conqueror Worm, each track emphasises different parts of these more than others, culminating in the final 17-minute closer that ties them all together.
Conqueror Worm is a very strong album, especially for a debut. It has a lot of variety and the overall quality of the music is very high. The artist behind this album has produced something a cut above your average black metal band, and I thoroughly recommend this work to any fan of modern black metal. Additionally, I have a great feeling that whatever this project does next is going to be even better than this.
Don’t miss out on Sepulchre by the Sea.