Track Premiere: Sepulchral Curse – “Dead Stars Drawing Spirals”
So, what did the humans do when the great hunk of space metal finally appeared in the sky? They acted in all sorts of peculiar ways, considering they’d been warned the planet was living on borrowed time. Some crammed entire seasons of entertainment (carnal and otherwise) into a single day. Other souls dried out like dead leaves and rarely moved outside their bedrooms. In the last moments of Earth, most sprinted around on wheels and on foot, clashing together in a froth of activity. All we have left of these final moments is an exclusive track premiere from Sepulchral Curse, a document entitled “Dead Stars Drawing Spirals.”
From the start, the band shows their prowess with chaotic songwriting—the dual guitars swarm around each other like ants, their disparate tempos, moods and techniques creating an overwhelming atmosphere. (Think early Opeth but replace the pretty flowers and landscapes with smoldering ruins.) On first listen it’s quite disorienting, but before minds wander, they condense the track with some punk-infused death metal riffing. For all of these early barbs of dissonance and technicality, it’s ultimately a melodeath song, albeit one stripped of keytars and tired theatrics; whether channeling the dire tremolos of blackened death or the energetic bounce of prog, melody is never far from the surface.
It’s about halfway through the tune when the asteroid hits, decimating the structure of the composition. Lush, ringing notes rise into space, evoking clouds of dust shot through with sunlight. It’s calm now, quiet—the bustling cities and birdsong are no more, replaced by the hum of cosmic background radiation. A feeling of peace permeates this segment (despite the guttural vocals and deliberate, pounding drums), demonstrating the band’s mastery of sonic storytelling; we float weightless in the vacuum.
As the shards of the planet pick up speed, vessels to climes unknown, one of the first moments of the song is reimagined; the blackened riffing is pulled apart into a double-picked groove, accompanied by tasteful cymbal flourishes and double kicks that build a sensation of inevitable motion. The effect of this thematic return is a sense of completion—”Dead Stars…” is 5 minutes of music with an arc: a beginning, middle and end that feels like a complete thought. Imagine that.
Such a loss, this young and promising species. Great things were expected of them. Sepulchral Curse was a nascent talent (of which only ashes remain), but they left an indelible mark with their final gasp. We will broadcast this message as far into the stars as our abilities allow, the last words of a planet that can no longer speak.