Band: Bestial Piglord
Album: Sepulchral Majesty
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal
Country: United States
Release Date: October 31st, 2019
Bestial Piglord’s new project is right on time for the end of the spooky season. This is a one-person band that has already built up quite a prolific catalog. While I had admittedly not been turned on to this artist, this project’s name was interesting enough for me to want to check out the new album. While I don’t find it to be the most inspired record I have heard this year, there are some bits and pieces worth discussing.
Sepulchral Majesty is only four songs, but it clocks in at a staggering fifty minutes. The bulk of this length is contained in the first song, at almost nineteen minutes, and the last one, which is almost seventeen. The most interesting element of this album is definitely in the music, there is no guitar anywhere on this record. It’s quite neat too because there are several moments on this record where I could be fooled into thinking otherwise. In particular, the closing track has what sounds like a distorted, tremolo-picked guitar, but is clearly not. I truly have no idea what makes this sound, but I do really enjoy how effective this record tricks my ears.
While the music is the most interesting aspect of the record itself, I want to shine a light on what I appreciate most. As cliché as this is, this album’s appeal comes not from what it does, but what it doesn’t. In truth, this record is decisively avant-garde, almost to the point of post-modern sound collage in some places. However, it manages not to be overly self-indulgent. This album easily could have been a much more taxing listen if it was attempting to be a grander statement. This record ultimately does feel like a personal passion project, which makes it resonate more with me. That being said, I still think this project is far from perfect.
As delightful as it is, restraint and neat production tricks don’t save this album’s actual substance. While the tracks here aren’t bad, they are somewhat drab. The opening track had some promise with its massive length and distorted vocal samples. The first few minutes are pretty menacing as well, really giving off a horror movie vibe. However, the song doesn’t go anywhere substantial for most of its runtime. It ends with a nice dark ambient passage, but it’s not enough to make up for the sixteen minutes proceeding it. The final track has the same issues as well, but it is unfortunately even less interesting. While there are parts of this track that increase the intensity and feature some decent sound play, no single moment is notably captivating. This issue is exacerbated when considering the thirty plus minutes coming before this song.
The middle tracks are more substantive overall. Act II starts off with some dark ambience, which sounds inspired by early 2000s Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The song then introduces some percussion and kicks off into a death/doom passage. While the music is okay at this moment, the vocals are pretty grimy which adds a nice touch. I will say this track actually gets unsettling at the end with the introduction of a vocal sample repeating “terrified,” accented by an incredibly odd sample of what sounds like whirring machinery. I do actually quite like this song overall. Act III is a pretty hideous blackened doom track which was nice to hear. It’s really wild and sinister for the majority of its runtime, but it does slow down and open up in the back half. I don’t really like this part of the song, as it starts to meander, but there is a surprisingly serene ambient outro here as well.
Overall, Sepulchral Majesty is an okay listen. It is more taxing than not, but the ideas here are worthwhile. Again, this is an extremely experimental record, which does make it harder to recommend, but I can see lots of people enjoying this album. This is definitely a passion project that doesn’t try to be something it’s not, and I think we can all appreciate that.
- Act I – The Paralysis
- Act II – Notte Di Terrore
- Act III – The Observation
- Act IV – Derealization
Total Playing Time: 49:39