Rex Shachath - Sepulchral Torment

Rex Shachath from Northern Ireland are an old school death metal band formed out of the remnants of 3 bands namely Overoth, Existing Threat and Sadisture. The latter 2 have long since broke up and disappeared into oblivion with Overoth playing the occasional gig whilst their members have formed other projects. On first glance, it must be said that the cover art is fantastic. It looks as if its taken directly from the late 80s/ early 90s. The work is easily recognizable as the legendary, Toshihiro Egawa and caps must be dothed as he's done a splendid job indeed. But does the collar match the cuffs of this recording? In a world over saturated with old school sounding bands its so hard to separate yourself from the herd. The question is, does it?

An opening intro of feedback teases us into the EP which to be fair probably could have done without really. "Sepulchral Torment" is the proper opening track and of course title track of the recording. Upon first listen what captivates me the most is the vocals. The vocals are great and a real step up from Dave's previous band, Existing Threat. I find the overall mix of the recording very flat with guitars sounding quite weak. The song in itself is quite good with a few nods to the likes of early Morbid Angel and Dismember but to name a few. But like I say, doing the whole old school thing is risky as hell these days as literally you've heard one band of this ilk, you've heard them all. Its what the band does with it that counts. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but I don't think that this is entirely true in this case. The drums on offer, having bore witness to him playing live, sound absolutely terrible and often sloppy.

I Know this isn't the case because his drum work with Overoth is great but sounds bad here and not a true representation of his playing. Perhaps it was intentionally done like this to fit into the old-school vibe, I don't know but it really doesn't work here. The bass is completely non existent and domineered by guitars in the mix which is a real shame. "Follow The Bastard Prophet" is a cool track which is sure to get heads banging and fists punching the air. Think early Entombed here. The kinetic energy is really there at the start of the recording but seems to dissipate at the track "Seven Serpents", to me the beginning of track sounds nothing short of a mess. That saying, their vocalist Dave carries this whole recording as he roars his way the whole way through it and is the only real constantly good thing in it. Closing track "Statues Of Death" for me is probably the best track on it as it has nice blend of fast and slow and quite galloped riffs which do get the old head nodding but all in all this recording is marred by a dry and very badly mixed recording. I will say one thing, I did quite like the lead playing which definitely reminisces of Trey Azagthoth. Listening to this, I can't help but feel I much prefer than lads previous project, for this to me sounds like a diluted version of it without the flair and finesse.

In conclusion and to refer to my earlier point, what separates this recording from the endless amount of old school death metal bands on the scene? Unfortunately absolutely nothing. Having reviewed the likes of "Revel In flesh" in recent weeks, who do the old school death metal revival thing to a phenomenal level, this really fails to compare. But is it good I hear you ask? Fairly Average he replied.


1. Intro
2. Sepulchral Torment
3. Follow The Bastard Prophet
4. Blind From Birth
5. Seven Serpents
6. Statues Of Death

Self released
Reviewer: Connor
Aug 5, 2012

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