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Sectu: Nefarious

Three albums in and Swedish Death Metal outfit Sectu are beginning to make serious waves. Inundate announced the band in fine style back in 2011, while Gerra significantly upped the ante a year later, Sectu seemingly growing and growling in confidence as they spread their musical wings of death. Nefarious is the obvious next step, a mix of traditional Death Metal values combined to an altogether more technical outlook that drives the eight tracks on this album to extremes in more ways than one. The very fact that the amazingly tight percussion pulverisers here, Johan Niemann (bass) and Richard Evensand (drums), can between them count stints in Evergrey, Therion, Mind's Eye, Soilwork and Lion's Share, as well as Black Majesty, The Murder Of My Sweet, Evil Masquerade, Ebony Tears and Tears Of Anger, should immediately illustrate just how wide their scope of influence and abilities are, something that this hugely complex yet stunningly accessible - especially when you factor in how intentionally intense it all is - album illustrates from start to finish.

Vocalist/guitarist Stefan Lundgren is equally outstanding, his combinations with guitarist Anders Exo Ericson finding a perfect position between hammer blows of hate and precision excursions of technicality. Bands can often lose themselves in their own cleverness when trying to meld a full on assault to something a little (or in this case, a lot) more thought provoking, yet for Sectu, that fear never arises. Instead each about-face of riffage to tumultuous torrent of toms, off kilter use of scales to throaty expulsions, feels utterly key to the success of these songs, no room allowed for frivolity in either approach, or mood.

"Convergence" is the only short track, counting in at under four minutes, yet even here no easy way out is sought, seemingly disparate sections brought together in one barrage of cohesive thought. However when really given the opportunity to stretch out, the longer "River Of Oblivion" (at 6:19) becomes a steady paced, yet controlled clash of eclecticism, while "Usurper" (at 8:09, the album's longest track) is an eagerly over powering aural journey, where the oppressive mind set is every bit as important as the exuberance with which it is delivered. Comparisons are refreshingly elusive when trying to tie down the Sectu sound, with possibly Morbid Angel a touching point and flashes of Obscura evident in places, but neither (in a very good way) really cover the breadth of what is presented.

Everything from the cracking album art, to the superb Sectu/Sverker Widgren production - and most importantly the music on Nefarious - screams class at the top of its lungs. On this evidence Sectu have a huge future, delivering one of 2014's extreme metal highlights in the process.

Track Listing
1. Fiery Initiator
2. Onset Of Destruction
3. Perpetual Spectre
4. Tenebrous
5. Convergence
6. River Of Oblivion
7. Usurper
8. The Wanderer

Added: October 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Sectu on facebook
Hits: 1898
Language: english

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