Written by: PP on 26/09/2011 03:39:19

If your debut album is marketed as "one of the best Swedish Death Metal albums for years", such as Sectu's "Inundate" in its accompanying promo material, you'll be immediately placed under the microscope for skeptical scrutiny. Fortunately, the Swedish technical death metallers deliver an excellent result, which should appeal to any death metal fan looking back at the early to mid 90s era in awe of how the genre was devoid of any modern influence. And why is that? Well, "Inundate" is basically an amalgamation of the technical and pure death metal styles of Death and Morbid Angel, and while I won't risk arguing it to be one of the 'best' records in a while from Sweden within the genre, it's a successful blend and an impressive debut album from the band. ViciSolum Productions does not disappoint, as usual.

To describe Sectu's sound a little further, you really need to look no further than words like intricate, varied, technical, and pummeling. The band's death metal riffing is both interesting as it is intricate, providing a borderline technical backdrop to the straight up pounding the band otherwise provides with a thick and solid production laid on top. The latter makes sure the record isn't left sounding like it was recorded through a shoebox (*cough*...certain Death releases come to mind), but also ensures that there's no flavor of modern effects nor artificial sounds sneaking into the mix. That's one of the key reasons why "Inundate" owns such a morbid and evil-sounding mix, where brutality is just about the first word that comes to mind when you pop on the disc. Although the solid growling certainly has a part in it as well.

The drummer deserves a mention in this review as well because his textured patterns belong to the absolute elite in death metal. He has the right sense to send the songs pummeling when required, but also to add in his own signature mark during the technical passages to enrich the overall song.

Soloing has not been forgotten either. "Storms", for instance, has a great death metal solo that's very textbook in its style but that's precisely why it's so good. It's exactly how you want your death metal solo to be served, it avoids the trap of adding too much melody and venturing into melodeath, yet is crisp and technical all the way through. Think Morbid Angel here. It's also a good example of how the rest of the album sounds like, because Sectu have managed a very uniform and convincing sound throughout.

"Ceremonial March" is the lone curious track on the release. It's an all-instrumental piece where Sectu slow down their expression into an extremely creepy and atmospheric piece which lives up to its title. It could be interesting to see Sectu pursuing this particular style further as the song is one hair-raising piece of death metal.

Most importantly though "Inundate" doesn't overstay its welcome. At just thirty-three minutes, the album isn't a minute too long or a minute too short, and because it contains so much variety and intricacy in especially the riff department, the listener is kept interested throughout. Absolutely recommended for any fan of 90s death metal.


Download: Age Of Splendour, Dream Vessel
For the fans of: Morbid Angel, Death
Listen: Soundcloud

Release date 13.05.2011
ViciSolum Productions

Age of Splendour by sectu

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