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Sephiroth > Sephiroth > Reviews > robotiq
Sephiroth - Sephiroth

Ripping Corpse with a Ouija Board - 60%

robotiq, November 19th, 2023

My sense is that Sephiroth (from Indiana) were the continuation of Afterlife (i.e., the competent technical death metal band who released "Surreality" early in 1992). The two bands shared several members, and this debut demo appeared soon after that band disappeared from the scene. The vocalist and bassist on this demo both appeared on the aforementioned album, and the chief songwriter George Gregory was also an early member of Afterlife.

Having said that, this demo does not sound much like Afterlife. Sephiroth sounds choppier, darker, slower, more sinister and aggressive. It reminds me more of bands from the contemporary New Jersey scene. Imagine a more esoteric version of Ripping Corpse, Damonacy and Psychosis, crossed with early Obituary. The vocals are harsh, guttural barks. The riffs are heavy and jarring. There are lots of chunky, confounding moments that sound cool but are not catchy enough to stick in the memory. The same could be said for the three songs themselves.

The production is bad, particularly considering the decent sound achieved on “Surreality”. The poor sound quality makes more sense once you realise that it was recorded by yet another former member of Afterlife. This guy was probably a friend of the band who owned some recording equipment but had little recording experience. The rehearsal-level sound will deter most people from exploring further, and renders some of the band’s intricacies inaudible. However, the rawness does capture the band’s spirit. I prefer this kind of ‘production’ to the blandness of most death metal records nowadays.

Sephiroth would subsequently release the “Moon, Sun, Heavens & Earth” EP, which followed a year or so later. That EP has a much better production than this demo, and should be the first option for anyone interested in exploring this obscure band. Still, the two releases have different songs and so this demo is not obsolete. No-one could say that this is essential listening, but fans of jagged, old school, angular death metal brutality will find some worth here.