Décryptal - Sabazios Culte (Rotted Life / Me Saco Un Ojo)

Hearing Sabazios Culte for the first time immediately had me scrambling for Décryptal’s previous releases. I had a feeling that the five-track EP's deceptively sophisticated chonk and otherworldly production marked a death metal (DM) band that had spent years configuring and debugging its own sound. Not the case: Sabazios Culte is not only Décryptal’s first and only release; it was also recorded and initially billed as a demo. Still, there’s a good reason why Rotted Life and Me Saco Un Ojo scooped it up for digital and physical distribution, and it’s not just because the band’s roster includes members of Quebecois DM titan (and Mutant Breakfast listerSedimentum.

Décryptal’s slushy guitars, burbling yeti vocals, and loyalty to low-end crunch do undeniably recall Sedimentum’s lumbering bedlam. Thankfully, though, they distinguish themselves with not only a quicker and more thuggish playing style, but also a revamped conceptual slant that draws inspiration from the cult worship of a Roman sky-god. Sedimentum’s secret sauce was their ability to give structure to a typically messy subgenre of splatterhouse DM, rigidly stratifying slop with methodical death-doom syncopation. Décryptal jettison this sound for something more gaunt and rabid, whittling away any traces of doom from the mix. Where Sedimentum would shamble into a slowburn groove, Décryptal digs in and snarls like a cornered animal, doubling down on the alacrity of their gutshot riffs. This harried approach brings to mind other DM bands who bow before the chrome altar of speed, like labelmates Coffin Rot or Maggot Stomp’s Disembowel. Whereas those bands excavate and repurpose nineties aesthetics, however, Décryptal strut with a more modern gait. Sabazios Culte might be slightly derivative of Sedimentum in spots, but it’s certainly not another "old school" re-hash. Like the disembodied, eye-covered hand that stalks the cover, it's a different beast.