Review Summary: Purple has never looked quite so volcanic.
Hailed as the love child of Pyrrhon and Weeping Sores members, Seputus’s Phantom Indigo
is a rambunctious, spiraling album full of twists and turns that deliberate disjoints and blurs the lines of whatever niche genre this album is likely to be pigeon-holed under. For it’s undoubtedly a death metal record, but the very seams of its foundations are stitched together with varying amounts of Pyrrhon’s jarring, dissonant abrasions—but Seputus’ makeup has a distinct edge to it, a different personality, if not unfamiliar to the natural comparisons to the acts mentioned above. In many ways, Phantom Indigo
is more than last year’s Abscess Time
and Weeping Sores’ False Confession
, both of which are considerably better than good records
, but Seputus’ sophomore samples chaos and twists it into every nook and cranny of the awaiting niche, standing separate to the acts which it will inevitably be compared to.
Glorious feedback drenches drum beats, “The Will To Live” transforms into a jagged, blackened riff study. Discordant passages jut in and out of wailing snarls and frenzied blasts, before Doug Moore’s ghastly vocal roar cushions the track’s more contemporary edges, but for the all the indications of a spiraling, unlistenable experience, Seputus run a clinic of contrast—melding groove and atmospheric into a wall of noise. Phantom Indigo
has early earmarks of an accessible, yet completely extreme release. Phantom Indigo
isn’t just bark; it’s claw and lock jaw—spittle flying everywhere. The album’s (pre-release) first single, “The Learned Response” is similarly beastly, but if there was ever an excuse to give up learning the drums, it’s probably due to the absolute clinic that Stephen Schwegler puts on. Considering the fact that this stick master has the majority hand in composition construction, his prowess behind the kit is nothing short of exemplary, a compliment to a whirlpool of riffs and demonic growls.
A myriad of featurettes also grace the inner workings of Seputus’ latest full-length. The likes of Evan Void on “The Will To Live”, Dan Gargiulo (Artificial Brain, ex-Revocation) on “The Learned Response”, Dylan DiLella (also Pyrrhon) appears on “Tautology”, and Pete Lloyd (Replicant) appears on the album’s title track. These inclusions may not stand out to the casual listener, but instead act as ear-treats for fans who would earnestly repeat this record’s tracks, finding gems and new flourishes with every spin.
What truly sells Phantom Indigo
properly isn’t restricted to its members' respective playing talents, but rather its ability to follow a natural progression. Despite the fact that half of the album’s tracks tickle the ten minute mark, Seputus’ sophomore has flow
. The density that comes with blending the more technical climes of death metal to the avant grinding bits that sit somewhere between the sludge and psychedelic, doomier atmospheres might hint at a wall of sound mentality, but at fifty minutes, Phantom Indigo
flies by, never sitting idle on a single idea for too long. Longer cuts like “Tautology” and “Deuteragonist” don’t drag on the album’s runtime, being the impactful centrepoint on the foundations of the group’s natural tendency to bend genres. The latter half of “Deuteragonist” especially feels trodden, soaked in the sort of doom atmospheres that Sumac or Inter Arma would be known for and yet, Phantom Indigo
’s makeup is definitely closer to the acts mentioned in this reviews’ opening paragraph, maintaining that psychedelic, angular Gorguts-ian edge ever present throughout the sophomore.
As Phantom Indigo
comes to a close it’s clear we have a quality slab of extreme metal to help kick off our June. It’s standard is enough to land itself a mention in many a publications “half yearly analysis”—and deservedly so, but for all the praise Phantom Indigo
will receive within the niche it’s not going to be enough to clear itself from a host of better, more extreme releases. That said, these other acts don’t detract from the individual quality that Seputus show in spades...another album to join the legions of quality 2021 releases.