Ósserp – Els nous cants de la Sibil·la [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Look at how fucking cute that hydra-bear thing is! I want to give it so many pets and cuddles that it dies from feeling too loved. Unfortunately, such creatures are but a myth, and I shall never know the multi-faced adoration of an adorable lil’ hydra, strong enough to carry me all the way to that ringed planet in the background. Instead, I’ll settle for telling the masses about this grimy, fucked up deathgrind slab by Barcelona quintet Ósserp, entitled Els nous cants de la Sibil·la.

This is not your grandma’s deathgrind. Ósserp aren’t satisfied until your entire body is contorted in weird knots, bleeding from every pore and retching its guts out to no end. Riffs buzz and saw their way through bone, blasts pummel your muscle into slurry, guttural roars rend your spine into segments. Between the shattering swaths of vigorous deathgrind that evoke a grindier alternate universe version of Slugdge’s Gastronomicon, gloomy doom-death awaits to stomp your soul while your body is down. And when they get down and dirty with death, they smack of Winds of Leng and Phrenelith, with an occasional blackened edge. Yet, at no point are any of these dalliances with the extreme anything other than seamless.

Forty-three minutes would normally be a big ask for deathgrind, but Ósserp make the experience endlessly engaging by transforming each song into a complete and compelling journey. Even the most straightforward outing, “La Rèmora,” slithers between groovy death metal themes in such a way that exudes personality. But more often than not, Els nous cants de la Sibil·la pulls from every corner of the extreme metal spectrum in clever, and sometimes downright subtle, ways, granting standout tracks like “El Rival Més Fort,” “El Pes del Buit,” and “L’home en el Laberint” the uncanny ability to ensnare the senses and mangle the flesh without even once sacrificing the album’s continuity.

Album arrangement further enhances Els nous cants de la Sibil·la’s sense of fluidity. From the onset of brutal opener “Cavalcant L’ossa Menor” it is clear that Ósserp have nothing but complete destruction in mind. As the record progresses, greater complexity blooms into view, rooted to an unflappable death metal core. That core gains extra support from crippling atmosphere (“Tot Crema”), an entity that grounds the album as much as it enhances it. It is used with great effect to signal the arrival of Ósserp’s doom-oriented explorations, which then predict a violent surge of intensified speed and vitriol. To my delight, this dynamic cycles around again—but on a greater scale—halfway through. This, in effect, summons an overwhelming sense of defeat just before an absolutely demolishing run of relentless, righteous deathgrind sends the record rocketing forward again, almost all the way to conclusion.

With Els nous cants de la Sibil·la, Ósserp crafted a dynamic deathgrind record with a variety of tones, textures, and twists. Using intelligent and detailed arrangement strategies across the album allowed the group to avoid several damning pitfalls: grind’s propensity for choppiness; buzzsaw death’s monotony; death-doom’s lack of excitement. All the while, Els nous cants de la Sibil·la retains a charismatic, refined character that makes it a standout of 2022. Don’t miss it!

Tracks to Check Out: “Tot Crema,” “El Pes del Buit,” “L’home en el Laberint,” “La Rèmora”

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