Thursday, 30 January 2014

Extreme Thursday: Sorrowseed

Time for another Extreme Thursday with vocals to set your soul on edge and riffs to make your ears fall off. This week's installment is Sorrowseed, from Boston MA. They deal in what they only describe as "extreme metal". Exactly the sort of thing we're looking for!

In fact, the band's sound is like a combination of melodic death and black metal, with Lilith Astaroth providing all vocals, and Morte McAdaver providing lyrics and guitar. The band formed in 2009 with Lilith and Morte, and have had a varied selection of other musicians involved. It's not easy to piece together the timeline, but by the time the first double-disc album, The Exinction Prophecies, was released in 2011 they had been joined by numerous (and various) members.

Indeed, after releasing The Extinction Prophecies in March 2011, the band split up in the April, and the Extiction Prophecies (if cross-referecing bandcamp and encyclopaedia metallum is to be believed) was rerecorded (or at least remastered) in 2012 and released as two albums, Dread Sylvan Summonings and Descent Of The Scarab Prophet, which correspond to the first and second discs of the original album.

If it wasn't obvious from the title, the band's lyrical themes revolve largely around armageddon, total obliteration of the human race, angry gods, death and annihilation. Each album follows a consistent story, although the lyrics might be required to understand some of the growls and shrieks.

The first part of The Extinction Prophecies, Dread Sylvan Summonings, deals with the Greek goddess Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and her dismay at the evil of humanity. Sinking into a state of sadness, Demeter takes the form of a weeping willow. As the anger within her grows, she develops bladed branches and transforms into the reaping willow, with the ultimate goal of wiping out humanity from the Earth. Certainly a unique spin on the myth of Demeter, but fitting the band's preferred topic perfectly. The voice of the reaping willow was provided by Lilith Astaroth. Additionally, Bonnie Miller provided vocals for Flowers To The Furnace.

The other album to come from The Exinction Prophecies is Descent Of The Scarab Prophet. This tale is of a man who leaves the material plane into the Outer Realm to discover the secrets of the cosmos. What he discovers there is that the Old Ones are on their way to wipe out humanity, and the album is his prophecy of the on-coming destruction. The album finale weighs in at over nine minutes long and features five distinct parts providing a suitably epic end to the universe as we know it.

After the split-up in 2011 and reformation in 2012 the band took on yet more new members, including such glorious names as Prometheus B. Subrick, Defiler Thane and Shadow Khayoss. They then started work in earnest on album number ... erm ... two?

This second album comes in the form of Nemesis Engine, another tale of death and destruction, this time courtesy of the Lich Queen and an huge and varied army of undead creatures and vile weapons of mass destruction. Once again Lilith Astaroth is on vocal duties with Morte McAdaver on lyrics and guitars, and everyone else apparently joining in for the "mummified choir" on Scourge Of The Hierophant.

Nemesis Engine was released on 31st October 2013, and features enough catchy riffs, growls, screeches, and mummified groaning for any fan of melodic death metal, especially if they're not too fond of humans.

All Sorrowseed's albums are available on Bandcamp and can be streamed, so give them a listen.

Related links:

Official site