Returning with their full length follow up to 2013’s “Unearthly Monument“, the Stockholm Death Metal battalion Desolator are ready to unleash upon the unsuspecting masses “Sermon of Apathy” but you won’t find anything apathetic about the content, construction or delivery of this beast, it makes a fascinating and exhilarating listen.
In comparison to their debut full length, this release, stands head and shoulders above it and whilst ‘Unearthly Monument’ was a good album, more than sufficiently brutal, as you would hope from a follow up album Desolator have built on their skills making follow up “Sermon of Apathy” a much more sophisticated and complex album whilst still holding onto the brutal edge.
This time around you have a greater depth, range and layering to the vocals. The drum work is also far more complex adding a great deal of texture and interest across the whole album and the guitar work is more technical and complex also with well-placed melodic elements as displayed on “Portal Tomb” where you get a haunting second half melody, “Creatures of Habit” where the melodic first half balances well against the more sinister mood of the track and “Methods of Self-Deception” has a haunting melodic close, a track that is a superb sinister builder, beginning with simple riffs, building with the vocals and chugging riffs developing a complexity as it winds its convolutedly fascinating aural journey with an unpredictable ebb and flow of pace, every turn is a surprise.
As for the rest of the album “Adversarial Doctrine” has a technical complexity to the riffs which develop into an engaging repeat alongside a very sinister edge, “The Human Condition” is a punchy and intense beast and “Vaticide” opens at a galloping pace but drops away to a dark brooding and sinister edged chug, ebbing and flowing between these two moods with a complex and technical swathe dropped in midway just to surprise and delight you.
However, the final track, the Lovecraft influenced “The Great Law of the Dead” is something else completely. A superb album closer, everything has been thrown into this track, for starters it features Karl Sanders of Nile on lead guitars and Oliver Palmquist of Phidion on vocals. It begins on an extended haunting brooding opener that taunts and beckons as it slowly builds, there is an engaging complexity to the construct, the guitar work has an exotic edge thanks to Karl’s input and his closing swathe of lead work is breathtakingly sublime.
The eerily exotic artwork is by Alex Tartsus, offering from the offset the hint that you might just experience something a little more ambitious this time around and it proves to be correct, an album definitely deserving of at least forty-two minutes of your time, if not far more.
“Sermon of Apathy” is out on September 4 on Black Lion Records and available on CD and digital formats.
Rating – 4.5/5