Blast Rites #7: Sequestrum – Epitome Of Putridity Review

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Sequestrum?! I barely KNOW ‘em!”

Well, that’s because they’re new.

Epitome Of Putridity is the first demo from this four-piece, recorded way back in March of 2022, and almost immediately dropped right in a puddle of bloody puke on your digital doorstep. Made up of members of Undergang, Phrenelith, and Chaotian, Sequestrum was bound to be heavy, destined to be gross. I suppose it’s fitting, then, that this particular Putridity is being released on Extremely Rotten because that’s as good a description as any I could summon forth, rotten and extreme and extremely rotten.

Release date: March 26, 2022. Label: Extremely Rotten Productions.
Pulling from Chaotian’s nearly impenetrable filth and Undergang’s sewer-grime ickiness, Sequestrum is a gory and bloodsoaked five-song foray into the brackish muck between death metal and goregrind, between those two outfits and the burbling bile of something like Pulmonary Fibrosis. All four members are credited with vocals: Alongside David Torturdød’s inhumanly low guttural, pitch-shifted goregurgles abound, punctuated with the occasional ravaged-larynx growl. Most of Epitome operates at a deliberate, bulldozer tempo – even with the occasional blasting and faster moments to offset the swinging lope, Sequestrum never feels in a hurry, and even when they are, it’s like they’re wading through that muck they evoke, speeding up but yet still being held back by the mud. (That is not a fault, by the way – it is, in fact, a selling point. It adds to the overall boggy vibe that Epitome Of Putridity is clearly aiming for.)

To that boggy vibe end, the production is suitably wretched, filthy multiplied by gross to the power of muddy, the drums surprisingly crisp while all the guitars are coated in low-end tar and muted fuzz. When the angular edges of riffs poke forth from the mire, they’re strong enough ones, tremolo melodies offset with the occasional screaming harmonic, or chunkier chord-based bashings, but overall, Epitome Of Putridity achieves its heaviness more through its (ahem) extremely rotten atmosphere than through bludgeoning instrumentation.

Take, for example, the intro to “Pearls On Offal”: It begins with dripping sounds (similar ones also appear in the intros to “Symposium At The Crematorium” and “The Tea Of The Heart” – Sequestrum likes the sound of dripping ooze, it would appear, and fittingly). A staccato riff enters, a gurgled throaty exclamation, a heavily and beautifully distorted bass, and then… pure filthy grossness ensues, a blasting drive before a quick churning midtempo punctuated by faster turnarounds and a squalling solo that bubbles up beneath those sonorous grunts, before the whole thing just collapses and fades away. Picture an underground pool of who-knows-what liquid, drippings rolling down the walls to add to the fetid stink; bubbles emerge from below, and then a scream, as the water starts to roil; a tentacle or an arm, some unholy appendage, and the water thrashes as whatever is about to eat you pulls itself from the depths…

As good as Epitome Of Putridity is, I must concede that it doesn’t reach the heights of Undergang or the depths of Chaotian yet, but give them time. Based on the Tenacious D sample that closes the album, I’m guessing that Sequestrum isn’t an entirely serious affair – “You’re sick,” that sample declares, “and I hope that you never get well,” which is a sentiment I share when it comes to these Danish deathsters, in whatever direction they apply themselves. Both the label name and the album title are perfect for these proceedings: gnarly and vile and extremely rotten, a nearly perfect putridity. I’m hoping to see more music to come under this bloody bone logo.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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