Setherial - Death Triumphant - 2006 - Regain Records
1. The Limbo of Insanity 2. Death Triumphant 3. With Veins Wide Open 4. Aeons of Bloodlust 5. Relinquishment From The Unlighted Chambers 6. Hellstorms Over The Empyrean 7. Inhale the Embers 8. Devilry, Wickedness and Scorn 9. Curse of the Manifest
‘A rose by any other name’, is the issue facing Setherial on their fifth full length, though this one smells more sour than sweet. They may be 13 year veterans of the black metal scene with plenty of credibility and experience, but only the most dedicated of fans will find much excitement in ‘Death Triumphant’, a needless exercise in an exhausted genre.
Setherial are rather talented at what they do, but their problem arises from their persistence in taking the easy road, so to speak, and challenging neither their audience nor themselves. Their progression since their early days is minute, and their rather monotonous approach is becoming tiresome. In truth, he most discernable progress in their career has been the upgrade in album covers.
And for 40 minutes, Setherial belt out essentially the same grade of tremolo riffs and industrial grade blastbeats we’ve heard from all corners of the black metal scene since the early 90’s. Their take of this tried and true formula does include a few tempo changes and rhythmic grooves, a little more cymbal work than usual, and if nothing else, ‘Death Triumphant’ gets high marks for its cold production and tight technicality, but to anyone familiar with Naglfar, Marduk, or Dissection this is still old hat.
Maybe Setherial really haven’t grown as artists since their rookie days, maybe they really are just as content playing the same music year in and year out. Plenty of bands have that same old formula that works—the old ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach. Yet, with so many bands offering more dynamic and engaging works, and with an audience as learned and demanding as today’s, Setherial just isn’t cutting it.
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