Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment

Inverted, they’ve lived their lives
dB rating: 8/10

Release Date: October 30, 2016
Label: Godz ov War

Long a goldmine for quality death metal—almost always technical and precision-oriented—Poland will uphold its reputation until the second coming of Christ. The latter of which will likely never happen, so… Case in point: Kingdom. Thematically, the Płock-based brawny trio are no different from their countrymen in Lost Soul, Hate and Azarath; no need to mention the country’s heavy-hitters. Sonically, Kingdom parlay an all-eras approach, where maze-like Morbid Angel runs meet the galloping guts of Autopsy, or the stifling brutality of Diabolical Conquest-era Incantation, or the incessant attack of Brazilian gods Krisiun.

Production-wise, Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment follows the Wiesławscy Brothers treatment, though it wasn’t produced by the duo. The soundscape is not clinically clean—which adds to Kingdom’s pre-digital age feel—but it’s also not awash in distortion and noise where it all coalesces into a mindless rumble (let’s move on, try-hards!). Songs like “Sepulchral Psalms,” “Monolith of Death” and the will-killer “Black Rain Upon the Mountain of Doom” demonstrate Kingdom’s adroit handle of the basics, while “Whispering the Incantation of Eternal Fire” and “Abyss of Torment” are examples of a band ready to ascend to the top of the blasphemous heap.

Honestly, there’s not much in Kingdom that sets them apart from, say, Kaamos, Laethora or kings Immolation. Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment is, at its heart, finely written, played, and produced death metal. But, where most bands cluelessly deep throat the mic—resulting in an emotionless garble of colorless bullshit—Kingdom’s frontman, guitarist/vocalist LWN, employs a searing snarl (along with the usual growls) that’s not to be fucked with. With first-rate vocals, a ripping 35-minute runtime and even a solid cover of Darkthrone classic “Cromlech,” Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment is quickly inching into the top death metal albums of 2016.

— Chris Dick
This review taken from the December 2016 issue.

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