Patibulum "Ninurta's Call Heeded" Demo
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Patibulum "Ninurta's Call Heeded"
(Description by J. Campbell)
“Ninurta’s Call Heeded” is the first utterance from Seattle’s Patibulum. This tape, which was self-released earlier this year, quickly sold out despite the band’s clear aversion to heavy-handed self-promotion. Interest in the demo was driven solely by the quality of the music it contained. The three songs on this demo represent some of the most impressive U.S. Death Metal produced in the last decade. Ominous and severe, “Ninurta’s Call Heeded” is a descendent of the dark and morose style of Death Metal promulgated in the 1990s by Finnish masters such as Demigod and Funebre as well as prominent North American bands like Incantation, Immolation, Cenotaph, and Shub Niggurath. Also woven into Patibulum’s sound are threads of Greek Black Metal influence, most notably the murky dampness of Varathron. Few contemporary bands have displayed such an innate ability to simultaneously maintain the tenets of genre tradition while also carving out new sonic and conceptual territory to explore as Patibulum has done on this first release. The evocative effect of the music perfectly suits the band’s lyrical and thematic focal points. Conceptually, Patibulum operates in a unique niche. Each song pertains to the Middle East as the nexus of ancient cultural conflict. The influence upon this conflict of hashish and other intoxicants as well as the mystic visions and worldviews of the participants in this perpetual ritual of religious turmoil is central to the imagery presented in the songs. The opiated trance of the dervish, the blood drenched reverie of the soldier. Richard S., the band’s primary lyricist, said he intended “the music to match the experience: sluggish, hazy, but with moments of extreme and painful clarity.” Patibulum’s dedication to the craft of composition is immediately apparent. There is neither stagnation in these tracks, nor is there a lazy reliance upon generic Death Metal tropes. The riffs here are organized and stitched seamlessly together to build songs that channel the desired atmosphere conjured by the subject matter. Superbly positioned in the mix and the compositional structure of the songs, keyboards add depth to the tracks on “Ninurta’s Call Heeded” without sounding trite or overburdening the guitars. The re-release of this demo is just a foreshadowing of Patibulum’s projected arc and comes just as the band plans to return to the studio to record a new 7” entitled “Marching on Ecbatana.” https://patibulum.bandcamp.com/releases