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Some brilliant songs, but lots of filler, too - 80%

vorfeed, October 10th, 2005

This is the first full-length demo collection from Yamatu, an American band playing ritualistic black metal.

The guitars here are thin, and low in the mix. There's plenty of synth to be had, and the vocals are soaked in effects. The result is high, echoing, vomitous vox that are quite creepy at times. The drums are programmed, but they're not too bad, and don't distract much from the album.

I've been meaning to review this one for some time. Shurpu Asaru has been a favorite of mine since it was released in the year 2000; though most of the songs are nothing special, there are a few excellent tracks that conjure a truly bizarre atmosphere. It's odd, because songs like "Akakharu" and "The Sixth Gate Shines No More" are kind of typical, and the re-release track "Dalkhu Zilittu" is about the most awful crime ever committed in the name of black metal, yet other songs are genius. "The Waters of Egura Stir" is creepy as hell, with a memorable theme; "Enki Adu En I" doesn't sound like anything else I've heard, with its weird middle-eastern melody and triumphant guitars. "At the Stream's Edge" starts with some gentle acoustic guitar, then moves into breakneck riffing and completely insane vocals.

Overall, Shurpu Asaru has more bad and/or mediocre tracks than good ones, but the good ones are shockingly great. It's a shame this album isn't five or six songs shorter than it is, but it's easy enough to skip the boring ones, and there are some real gems here. Besides, how can anyone dislike a black metal band that covers Jacula? Highly recommended.

Standout tracks: "The Waters of Egura Stir", "Enki Adu En I", "At the Stream's Edge"

Review by Vorfeed: