Openly bred from the origins of death metal, Canadian metallers Sabbatory is a proposition which on the evidence of debut album Endless Asphyxiating Gloom has plenty more in its arsenal than just a sound spawned from the genre’s first pestilential blooming. The release is an unrelenting brew of adventure and ideation in which each song is a full to the rim continually revealing web of fascination and creative malevolence. Its tracks expand and breathe with a riveting adventurous intent; it is not jammed with ground-breaking offerings but certainly exposes a resourceful endeavour which gives a fresh strain of toxicity to vintage death metal.
Hailing from Winnipeg and consisting of vocalist/guitarist Kier Keating, guitarist Marshal Fries, bassist Nick Tober, and drummer Dan Ryckman, Sabbatory has earned a strong reputation at home for their impressive live performances. Including members who have played in numerous other local bands including death thrashers Besieged, the quartet is poised to take their sound and potent presence into the jaws of the world with Endless Asphyxiating Gloom and it is hard to see them failing to ignite a more intensive spotlight upon their emerging cast of inventive sonic ferocity.
A rabid assault of drums marks the entrance of opener Being, Thy Eternal Perplexor, a potent lure soon joined by ravenous riffs which in turn sparks a tsunami effect in the attack of Ryckman who not for the last time impresses strenuously. Entwining grooves need little encouragement to colour the expanding tempest next whilst vocally Keating is as grizzly in tone as he is malevolent. It is a gripping persistently evolving incitement which though as mentioned it hardly strays from established landscapes, it is as unpredictable and intriguing as you could imagine and wish within its impressive template. Though within five minutes in length the song, and album as a whole, is a blistering and exhaustive web of predatory design and skilful sonic narration easily sparking imagination and passions to delve deeper.
From the outstanding start the album kicks up another gear with Hypnotic Regression, its opening punk infused opening of bass and drums veined by a sonic toxin instantly irresistible. Still retaining that initial animosity and bait, the track proceeds to unleash a rapacious stalking of wonderfully niggling riffs with groove linked hues whilst Ryckman again uncages a torrent of skill and hostility which leaves the mouthwatering and senses reeling. Crawling, prowling, and charging head down within again a persistently shifting premise, the track simply seduces and enslaves thoughts and passions through skilled and imaginative enterprise. It is a weave which is not over indulgent or too hungry to impress but does so nevertheless because of its modest yet ferocious adventure and ideation. It is the best track on the release and combined with its predecessor reveals the strength and some of the still untapped potential of the band.
The intensive Corrosive Decay, whose presence definitely is described perfectly by its title, comes next and though maybe and inevitably it pales against the previous songs, the track and all its attributes converges on ears and senses like a devouring sonic banshee. Within its insidious deathly howl though the track explores rhythmic scenery which is hypnotic in its spite and craft whilst its barrage is wound around by an acerbic tapestry of grooves and acidic hooks which dig and linger venomously. The song makes an absorbing and invigorating venture to bravely immerse within before Infantasy steps forward to reveal its own scornful uncompromising incitement. Again it is a track which easily impresses but lacks the richness of invention and adventure of the first two, though in craft, passion, and intensity it is more than an equal.
The title track finds another startling strength of rancor and noxious beauty for its body and sound; guitars and drums seemingly drilled in rabidity whilst the seamless and dramatic switches in urgency and gait bring a predation to the ears which again find new strength and purpose within the album. A great short solo flame from Keating sears the air from within the oppressive and thunderous weight of the encounter but it is the sheer brutal mass and intimidation of the song musically and vocally which seduces without restraint, though again it fails as all tracks after the first pair of songs to be honest, to find that early plateau set.
Both The End of a Pessimistic Voyage and the closing Orbiting Obscuron provoke and feed imagination and passions healthily, the first a thick cloud of insatiably addictive riffs and animated grooves gripped by another rhythmic ferocity to be keenly admired and its successor a provocation which emerges from a doom bred swamp of intensity and emotion into a more thrash steeped sinew clad canter which is as bestial and baneful as anything on the album. The pair easily enflame an already rampant hunger for the album as they bring Endless Asphyxiating Gloom to an imposing exhilarating end. The album is top heavy in many ways but that is down to the sheer might of the first few songs than any defect in the rest whilst the production at times is not as rewarding to the invention it wraps as maybe it could have been, but from start to finish the album is a captivating and commanding enjoyment marking out Sabbatory as a band more than able to make a big impact on world metal.
Endless Asphyxiating Gloom is available via Unspeakable Axe Records now with distribution through Dark Descent Records!
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