Review: Sentience – Beyond the Curse of Death (Demo)

Posted: September 13, 2014 in ALERT: Awesome new music, Band of the Day, Demo Review, Reviews
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Chalk up another band who pay tribute to the Northern gods of death metal, Sentience. Sentience sound like an unearthed gem from Sweden circa 1991, but in fact are a new band and are from New Jersey. Yeah, the same place as reality tv goblin Snooki… It amazes me that one places can have so much evil going on. Anyway, Sentience instantly have a bit of expectation to live up to, having had their ‘Beyond the Curse of Death’ demo mastered by Dan Swano. Add in the almost Entombed style logo and you could’ve guessed what this sounds like before you heard it.

But, of course, the meeting of expectations isn’t a negative thing. Sentience batter straight of the gates with the titular ‘Beyond the Curse of Death’, a track that is so Swedish death it’s carved out of the bones of people who got lost in Ikea. It’s devastatingly good. Propulsive, urgent, and channeling not only Entombed but the intensity of Grave and the classic chainsaw guitar sound of Dismember. It is somehow totally authentic and totally derivative at the same time. This has GOT to be 20 years old and made in Sweden. Surely. Don’t fucking lie to me reality!!

‘Dusk’ and ‘Beneath a Bleeding Moon’ are both ferocious slices of pure SweDeath brilliance. The former switches between driving groove and earthshaking blasting, and even manages to slot in an epic slow section haunted by ghostly keys. Definitely one of the highlights of the year in death metal for me. The latter is a more mid paced beast; full of riffs that Dismember don’t need anymore, and possessing a sense of melody and scale that even the best in SweDeath didn’t manage back in the day. Melding the savagery of the usual suspects with the sweep of Katatonia makes ‘Beneath a Bleeding Moon’ the best of the three tracks, but only just.

If you’re still gutted about the loss of Dismember, or how Entombed won’t sound like ‘Clandestine’ anymore, then ‘Beyond the Curse of Death’ is for you. Find it on their bandcamp. Then download it and listen to your new favourite band.

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