Kurb Saatus - The Withering

It's the last day of October and today it is a raining day in Athens, Greece. I wake up in the morning under the sound of heavy rain. The Athenian sky has turned gray/black from early in the morning. Rain is drumming outside the windows. I feel a sense of doom. I feel the Birmingham blackness and bleakness of the sad sky under which Black Sabbath gave birth and substance to our music. Looking inside me, I feel I need the right soundtrack for this mo(u)rning. And here I found it!

Kurb Saatus is a melodic doom/death metal band from the Netherlands. They were formed in 1994 and remained in the underground for all these bloody 25 years basically releasing demo material. Their promo tape '96 was a split with the excellent doom/death Dutch band Officium Triste. In 1997 they released a MCD entitled "Never Forgotten". And here they are in 2019 with their first full length album "The Withering" to fill this dark morning.

In the 7 songs of the album spanning to 41 minutes you will listen to Kurb Saatus' decent approach of melodic doom/death. Their sound owes a lot to the early 90's doom/death heritage and bands like (old) Paradise Lost, (old) Anathema, (mid) Tiamat and Blood Divine. However, they blink an eye to their heavy metal roots as well which gives them at times an epic Amon Amarth feeling.

Eric Buizert (ex-Ceremony / if you are into death metal, please try listen to their 1993 album "Tyranny From Above") vocals are deep and comprehensible maintaining a personal character. He chooses to neither perform screams nor growls or clean vocals in the album. Eric's physical throat sustain at the end of his phrases creates a sense of agony and despair throughout the whole album. He is an excellent singer and seems to have conquered his expressive means.

"The Withering" is basically a mid tempo album and Kurb Saatus concentrate on creating a pessimistic and melancholic atmosphere out of which light can still be seen! The riffs either played as open chords or palm muted are powerfully performed. They remain heavy and drive the album to some very interesting melodic paths. Fans of doom/death and heavy music in general will surely enjoy these paths. For example listen to the song 'Into Darkness' where the riff reminds of the mid period Rotting Christ and albums like "Non Serviam" or "Triarchy Of The Lost Lovers". Highlighted by the use of an excellent, slow, dark and hypnotic lead guitar work, the guitars without showing off, they fully underline harmonies. Kurb Saatus wisely enough add several music phrases in their songs and give additional interest to their music. As far as songwriting is concerned, Kurb Saatus may write lengthy songs, but they also manage to keep the interest of the listener.

The 'Of Sorrow Eternal' opening riff is in a way black-ish again and shows the wide palette of influences this band has and their ability to incorporate them all in their own style.

In terms of production, there has been an excellent job done here. Keeping the unpolished sound a doom/death album needs up to the level of necessity, there is enough space for every instrument (voice included) to breathe in and out. It pleased me a lot to listen to a band that really pays attention to such detail in their production and have a clear mix. Keep in mind that Kurb Saatus is an independent/unsigned band and this is their debut full length. With their work they show that they know exactly what they need in their music. ¡nd this is a personal achievement for an artist.

If you want to feel how it is (or for the older to recall) an atmospheric doom/death journey to the melancholic blend of doom and death metal of the early 90's from a band with professionalism and nice ideas, then this one is definitely for you. The CD is a hand numbered digipak limited to 100 copies so act fast!

Kurb Saatus is a band with potential. Save their name because I am sure they will keep us busy in the future.


1. Twilight Grey
2. Darkened Thoughts
3. Silent Waters
4. Escapism
5. The Withering
6. Into Darkness
7. Of Sorrow Eternal

Self released
Reviewer: Manos Michaelides
Nov 12, 2019

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