This review is about the debut album However It Still Moves by Chilean Sporae Autem Yuggoth. A band that ventures into the deathdoom genre according to old school recipes. This debut has a running time of no less than sixty minutes. Not exceptional when it comes to more drawn-out slow doom, but the accompanying description makes me a bit skeptical. A description with terms like “atmospheric”, “denser”, “melancholic”, “menacing”, “utterly crushing and crushed” and finally “dark as fuck” are thrown at us. And if that wasn’t enough, the Personal Records label draws a parallel with the almighty Skepticism when it comes to the well-timed guitar work… as long as it goes well. But come on, we don’t have to be so indifferent to this debut. After all, we have often been positively surprised by very tasteful debut albums in recent months. Moreover, there is a top wine selection from Chile, just to name a few. Then I dare not claim that this export product is rubbish in advance.
And with this in mind I’m going for a first listen. What immediately stands out throughout the album are the sharp short guitar melodies that go a bit up and keep sizzling a bit. You might recognize this one from Paradise Lost‘s debut album Lost Paradise. Although the variant that can be heard here is a bit less capricious, so that it fits just a little better in the overall picture. In addition, we hear a dark and also melancholic use of guitar riffs. Check! that too can be swiped off the checklist. A song like Through Dominion to Interlude drags and creaks like a snail disguised as a steamroller to plow the earth evenly. The very spooky and emotionally charged keyboard playing sends a shiver down the body of every attentive listener. A trail of intense horror is left behind as a screaming guitar casts itself like a shadow over a dark foundation.
Initially, the opener Apparition of Internal Odes starts with a serie of sound perceptions that would fit seamlessly into a psychologically sick horror movie. Including ominous church bells and keyboard lines that merge into the first guitar sounds. What follows afterwards is difficult to put into words, because the whole is quite complex. Guitar lines that seem to follow their own path, but also complement each other, keyboard keys that bear a strong resemblance to the majestic work of Evoken and even Esoteric, exciting tempo changes and a hoarse grunt that in most cases remains quite intelligible. Sporae Autem Yuggoth gets straight to the point with this first song, because this hallucinatory trip doesn’t last much shorter than ten minutes. In this initial phase it is continuously exciting where the music takes us. The variation seems to exceed boundaries within the chosen style, which fortunately does not end very quickly. And if the end is already there, then the Chileans continue with the breathtaking cracker The Pendulum of Necropath, on which the vocalist ventures into a whispered passage, in addition to his grunts. There is also a sick dissonant groove that is spun out on a tapestry of phlegmatic keyboard work. The song fades out a bit too quickly for my liking, as it’s quite enjoyable. In some cases the band chooses to switch the tempo towards funeral doom, leaving some opportunity to catch your breath. Although this seems virtually impossible, because the whole thing actually sounds so intoxicating.
Fortunately, we are constantly being dragged along by this sextet. For example, it is completely impossible to keep your head still during the following Colosus Larvae: The Crimson Coffin & The Scarlet Worm. What a sublime sense of songwriting. Unreal that this is the band’s debut! But it really is. Chopping, grooving and tearing riffs are clumped together into a complex sound mush, which then suddenly merge under a hefty breathtaking blastbeat section. The hoarse death roar grabs us by the scruff of the neck to reveal undiscovered places in the human psyche. Booming piano keys then make it an even more moody whole. The hard drum cadence with which Disintegration kicks off sounds a bit more death metal. Quite traditionally performed, but also refreshing because of the keyboard additions, tempo changes and the overall atmosphere. The sound mix is also very good and not too flat, although we do get the “dark caves feeling”. That by itself is pretty impressive!
Then by the time we reach Enantiodromia, we’ve been shaken by all the emotion. Call your editor on duty mentally unstable, but I tell you, dear readers, try it yourself. This is hard, grueling, emotional and enjoyable. We experience Enantiodromia as an interlude, in order to be ready for the previously quoted and heavily distorted Through Dominion to Interlude. The grunt sounds even deeper from the chest and the music itself is a pure ode to old-school deathdoom. Never ever does this band let a glimmer of light shine through its music. Intensely sick and dragging, this song, now even with alternating double vocals, crawls towards your eardrums through your brain. A beautiful solo breaks up the middle, after which the song returns to the opening theme with playful ease. Towards the end we get another enigmatic solo, resonating and screaming for a long time, until the song ends in a sad tone. The throbbing bass drum as a foundation consisting of wet clay soils over which a serie of autumn leaves fall under a loaded guitar and keyboard manifestation.
As expected, The Night Ocean shows the sea and acoustic guitar work. Sinister, especially when we hear the waves crashing against the rocks. Or is it thunder? This is clearly an outro, where we can catch our breath. Think everything over carefully, and then quickly press the repeat button once again. Enjoying this complex music does not come naturally, you have to be able to surrender to it. But once the time has come, it is really enjoyable with a capital G. With However It Still Moves, this Chilean band has a wonderful debut album in store. Perhaps the most beautiful and at the same time darkest debut I’ve heard in years. Now Sporae Autem Yuggoth has set the bar very high for itself with this debut and this is where the biggest challenge lies. Because how the hell does this Chilean sextet get over this? That seems completely impossible, when the debut immediately turns out to be a masterpiece. That is without any doubt the case here.
Personal Records, 2023
- Apparition of Internal Odes
- The Pendulum of Necropath
- Colosus Larvae: The Crimson Coffin & The Scarlet Worm
- Disguise the Odius Spirits
- Through Dominion to Interlude
- The Night Ocean
- Alexis Gutiérrez – Bas
- Diego Guzman – Drums
- José Gallardo – Gitaren
- Patricio Araya – Vocalen
- Luis Morales – Gitaren
- Johanna Sánchez – Keyboards