An often overlooked OSDM classic, Slumer of Sullen Eyes was Finland’s response to the bludgeoning US Florida death metal scene of the 1990s and a darker, more austere compliment to the Swedish old school death of the same. It is rarely mentioned in mainstream narratives as being a death metal classic but has attained cult status in death metal circles. Perhaps it was because line-up turmoil prevented Demigod from stringing together a steady progression of albums, thereby thwarting them from establishing a bigger profile, or maybe the record was lightening in a bottle for a band who was able to briefly channel the spectral violence of some doomy parallel universe. Either way, the band’s other two releases are generally well-regarded but not held on the same pedestal. It’s dark, doomy and almost sludge-infested. The album just needs to be invited to the party with all the cool kids; you know, the one where Left Hand Path and Soulless are crowded around the keg even though the latter has to QB the homecoming game the next day and the former is taking his third crack at the SATs? A few highlights for this 12 track phenom….
The title track is a thick piece of doomy, death which exemplifies their thick, downtuned sound about as well as any track on the album. Like with many of the tracks, it streamrolls without letting the slower riffs hang around for too long.
Though maybe not technical enough for fans of Death or Atheist, the songs by no means simply drone along. There be plenty of aggression to go around!
Because of the heavily downtuned guitars and occult mysticism, the best contemporary comparison would likely be Funebrarum.
The riffing is made up of gargantuan ringing chords, chugs and harmonic-happy fills. “Fear Obscures From Within” probably rocks the hardest but the album really consists of 12 incredible tracks, a feat that is not often repeated today with trends moving in the direction of less songs per LP (perhaps in part with the prospect of stretching material to multiple albums). It had been out of print for several years but now you can buy it complete with the Unholy Domain EP for about 9-10 bones. Yes, you’ll see similar elitist metal geek ranting about this album around the webernet but it’s surprising how many people still don’t know about these guys. The best part? They (or some form of the band) is back together and playing gigs.