Like brutal death? Like folk? Why choose one? Sarpanitum brings us the best of both words. One part crunching, pounding death metal fury; one part epic neoclassical riffs and solos set to ethereal synthesizers. From the UK and Japan, this group named for a Babylonian goddess is dedicated to crafting crushing compositions of blackened death metal that highlight and expose historical accounts of religious fanaticism. After all, those who don't know the past are doomed to repeat it.
Things get as light as the lush ambiance of "Homeland" and as heavy as the title track's squealing, chugging guitar and violent technical drumming. But these styles are not played out in isolation. Most tracks like "Malek al-Inkitar" and "Truth" prefer to smash the two genres into one another like hammer and anvil. Sweeping melodies evoking images of riders on horseback contrast starkly with the more primitive sounds of clubs splintering bone. Given the religious imagery, it's appropriate to say there may be a metaphor here in how the crusaders viewed the "savage" and "uncivilized" heathen world.
While the lyrics do outright tackle some of these academic topics, one need not have interest in allegorical tales to enjoy Blessed Be My Brothers. The music, regardless of which genre is currently being played, is always plenty enjoyable. Check out the Ensiferumish war march of "Komenos," or the endless stream of hooks on "By Virtuous Reclamation." Even the dramatic, atmospheric interlude "Immortalized As Golden Spires" is a stunning piece of musical art.
So thanks again to the fans on this page, I was reminded to come back to an album from early this year that I initially didn't spend enough time with. Sarpanitum have built themselves a very balanced and fairly unique experience that they should certainly be proud of, and I encourage you pick it up from the Willowtip bandcamp page. It's $8.99 for digital, but they have a few other intriguing bundles for the bigger fans.