Sedimentum – Suppuration Morphogénésiaque Review

Tastes are cyclical. Take the name, “Steven.” In 1955, “Steven” was the 10th most popular name in the US, with 1 in 50 kids being lovingly anointed with this label. Fast-forward 60 years and it was not even in the top 250, even falling below “Melvin” (at 198). But in 2019, something strange happened. Parents started calling their kids “Steven” again. The momentum shifted. In 2022 it zoomed into 150th place again, rapidly ascending the popularity stakes again. This isn’t unique to Steven: names like “Eleanor,” “Violet” and “Elijah” have all made a comeback. What does all this have to do with Sedimentum, you may be asking. Well, Sedimentum is nasty, grimy, dirty, filthy, compelling old-school death doom metal. The stuff that seemed to get neglected and forgotten about for a while there. And old-school death metal is, like “Steven,” making a hell of a comeback.

Sedimentum is a Quebecois quartet that gained underground attention with their 2019 demo. There was something particularly unhinged and delightfully filthy about the whole thing that turned a lot of heads. Now, in 2022, we have their first full-length, Suppuration Morphogénésiaque. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with death metal will have an inkling of what’s coming before a single note is played. The gloriously grotesque Brad Moore cover art, the Latin-y sounding name with more than a passing resemblance to Mortiferum, the malevolent-looking band moniker, all point to a band that isn’t here to fuck around or “subvert your expectations.” This is old school death-doom, nestling comfortably between the vibrant riffs of Undeath and the dankness of Tomb Mold. Sedimentum adopt the sandwich—rather than the McFlurry—approach to death doom, with different distinct layers leading to the next, rather than a big ol’ jumble. So the death metal bits sound like death metal, the doom sounds like doom, and the whole thing feels rotten. In other words: a jolly good time.

The first noticeable aspect of Suppuration Morphogénésiaque is how quickly and effortlessly it establishes an absolutely suffocating and claustrophobic atmosphere. Part of this is due to the ridiculously chunky bass that, like a wounded buffalo, demolishes everything in its path, often becoming the hero of the melodies. The combination with the spiky leads is often so loud and weighty that the lo-fi production threatens to cave in under the sheer weight of it all. Words like “grimy” and “dirty” are overused when describing death metal, but they are apt with Sedimentum, who manage to sound absolutely massive yet never headache-inducing. There’s a tenseness and feeling of dread with every song. If Mortiferum felt like wading through a toxic swamp, Sedimentum feels like going through the same swamp… except something awful could leap out at any time.

None of this would work if the band didn’t have the songwriting chops to back it up. Fortunately, they do. While Suppuration Morphogénésiaque isn’t the riff riot of Undeath, there are plenty of melodies to detect beneath the deluge of dirt. The only downside is that it’s all so dark and murky that repeated listens are needed to ultimately uncover them. The production lends authenticity to the record, but it’s still viciously dense and compressed. While this adds to the atmosphere, I believe the band would have benefited from trusting their songwriting more and giving them just a tiny inch of room to breathe. The good news is that, at 41 wretched minutes, Suppuration Morphogénésiaque never outstays its welcome.

A part of me is glad OSDM is making the comeback that is. I missed all the hullaballoo the first time round and—frankly—felt like I never really “got” it; I was content to leave these sorts of promos to the hardened. Well, 2022 has shown me just how potent the old stuff can be. Sedimentum aren’t doing anything revolutionary here, but by leaning hard into the murky aesthetic of olde, while retaining a modern sensibility in the songwriting, they’ve created a very noteworthy debut that builds on all the promise of their demo. It’s uniquely malevolent and tense, even in a genre known for being scary. It’s time for “Melvin” to step aside, ‘cos “Steven” is making a comeback. And he’s a vicious sum’bitch…

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 3 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Me Saco Un Ojo Records and Memento Mori Records
Releases Worldwide: July 25th, 2022

« »