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Seal Of Beleth : Slow Music For Dead People

It's tough to become really invested into the music Seal Of Beleth display on their first full-length.

Seal Of Beleth are a relatively new three piece hailing from Finland, and 'Slow Music For Dead People' is their first full length release after a couple of demos. What they play could be called traditional Doom with a slight hint of Doom/Death (mostly in the vocal department).

To say that this band wears their influences on their sleeve would be a bit of an understatement. If Seal Of Beleth are not huge fans of Reverend Bizarre then I would be quite surprised, to say the least. Of course, there is nothing wrong with showing off what you like, and hopefully making it your own. These guys do that, but unfortunately, they don't do it very well.

There are some songs (such as 'The Ancient Astronaut' which veers off in an odd black Metal direction--almost like early Mayhem with all of the speed and punk attitude stripped off) where other influences slip in. Some of them work (again, I am thinking of 'The Ancient Astronaut'), but for the most part, it sounds like a deaf guy shouting Neurosis style vocals at you with a mix of uninspired riffs and bland Metalcore.

I applaud Seal Of Beleth for the clean vocals that are peppered throughout this album. However, I abhor the sheer monotony of them (chant-like vocals can work, they did for Undersmile, but it's a fine line between good and boring). You're playing Doom Metal. Show some fucking emotion!

The album doesn't really pick up until the last two tracks ('Old Man'--probably the gem on here, with some quite engaging riffs, and rather well done song structure--, and 'Whore of Azrael', which sounds like something left on the cutting room floor of Reverend Bizarre's 'III: So Long Suckers'), but even then a lot of the last song just sounds like filler. Most of the riffs seem to drag out just a little too long.

So lies one of the problems with 'Slow Music For Dead People': it's tough to become really invested into the music. As such, most of this album just seems to plod along, at best. The occasional riff, and even the occasional song hints at something much, much better, and just as you are ready to cheer the band for bringing you into their world, they drag it out, and you lose interest once again.

The other issue here, is that it's difficult to image what sort of Doom fan this album will appeal to. It's not traditional enough for the purists, perhaps a bit too sludgy for the stoner Doom fans, however not sludgy enough for the sludge Doom fans, and just not crunchy enough for the Death/Doom fans.

There are moments here and there when some truly engaging music shines through, but overall 'Slow Music For Dead People' will fall on dead and disinterested ears. A shame, really.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Doomed To Insanity
2. Beleth
3. The Blood On Satan's Claw
4. The Ancient Astronaut
5. Old Man
6. Whore Of Azrael

Duration : Approx: ?? minutes

Visit the Seal Of Beleth bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-04-23 by Matt Zuchowski
Rotten Copper
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