US band SCAPHISM was formed back in 2007, and first came to some prominence in 2010 when tey released a split CD with Boarcorpse and Composted. Two years later the debut CD “Festering Human Remains” followed. “Unutterable Horrors” is their second full length production, and was released at the start of 2018 by US label Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.
As the name of the album and the band’s current label suggests, Scaphism is a band that have chosen extreme metal as their playing field. Death metal, apparently, although my knowledge about the extreme side of metal isn’t on the level where I easily separate the distinctions between one subgenre and the other. What is apparent is that this is an old school band though, with a no frills and in your face sound and expression that for me indicates yet again the reach and indirect influence of certain bands from the early 1980’s.
Scaphism have gone for dark, twisted growls in the vocal department. Evil, but not overly dramatic so, and of the kind were you can understand most words growled without second guessing. Which is always a nice thing in my book. The guitars are dark and gnarly, with a hard and primitive expression throughout. The rhythm department is solid, and it is always a pleasure in this type of music to encounter a drummer that can be and is expressive rather than merely thumping away at 160 miles per hour.
The songs tends to alternate between slower passages, of the kind that makes me think about bands such as Nuclear Assault, and pacier and more intense escapades with more of a hectic spirit and almost frantic drive. Impact riffs, compelling circulating grooves and occasional doom-tinged slowdown moments is a part of the thrash oriented passages, while the band’s more extreme side has a tendency to be wildly shimmering fluctuations with twisted, distorted overlays. Otherwise I note that Scaphism prefers a tight and hard sound over a majestic and monumental one, and that they appear to be fond of inserting quirky instrument details here and there.
While I do not find this album to contain any moments of sheer, magical brilliance, my perception is that this is a solid, high quality affair throughout. The songs are mainly kept short and concise, never overly exploring any ideas, and as far as extreme metal goes I’d say that this is an album that strikes me as rather inviting and compelling too. Disregarding the lyrical side, obviously. If old school extreme metal is your thing, this is a band you can safely lend an ear in my opinion.
My rating: 80/100
Gruesome Unmentionables And Unutterable Horrors // Malapropos Cardiectomy // Mitte Eos Ad Infernos // Vaults Of Pestilence // Trepanate The Undesired // The Feaster From The Stars // Excoriated And Excarnated // Hypovolemic Purification