Sepulchre by the Sea - Conqueror Worm

After a single track demo in late 2019, this one-man project from the UK comes out with the debut full length Conqueror Worm, to be released in November of this year. Openly influenced by themes of Edgar Allan Poe, the band's name could be a reference to one of the poet's last works "Annabel Lee", describing the perseverance of the protagonist's love towards his then deceased woman. As mournful as that piece is, Sepulchre by the Sea aims to convey the same atmosphere through a mixture of traditional black metal and elements of melodic / post-black in Conqueror Worm, which last almost an hour and features six tracks in total. 

Among them, the track from the demo has been re-recorded for the album, and the wider use of different instruments broadens and shows more clearly the musical palette of the project, which combines a variety of characteristics around the basic black metal pattern. Sepulchre by the Sea also employs solid clean vocals at times, most notably in a the wonderful "Slices of Death", while the most intense moments line in the great guitar lines of the self-titled track, "And So It Crumbles" and the middle part of "Behind the Walls". The last of these three takes a calmer turn towards the end to give way to the final track of Conqueror Worm, "Plutonian Shores", a lengthy composition that touches seventeen minutes duration and goes through all the phases of the band's sound, from clean to heavy parts and in between. 

There are a lot of interesting ideas in Conqueror Worm, which wouldn't make it just typical post-black metal, still I think there is space for improvement in terms of cover artwork and production, with the latter having the potential, in my opinion, to give a completely new dynamic edge to the project if handled properly to give space to the compositions to really show their worth. Sepulchre by the Sea's first effort is a fine offering of black metal that isn't direct and raw, for fans of atmospheric / post-black metal artists and of course, for lovers of Edgar Allan Poe.

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