Epistulum – From the Dead Masses

Epistulum released their debut album ‘From the Dead Masses’ last month with an epic release show in Den Haag, but we at MetalFromNL learned about this album only last week. What a shame I didn’t know about this album sooner! Because from the first tones of Black Dawn Above, I’ve had a smile on my face that hasn’t faded since. What an masterpiece! I might be prejudiced since this is the genre I love the most: Melodic Death Metal with lots of synths, but these guys are definately in the same league as major bands like Children of Bodom, Norther and Omnium Gatherum. Lets dive into this band and see what the rest of this album is all about!

About Epistulum

Epistulum is melodic death metal, with a very Scandinavian feel to them. The band started out as a soloproject by Thijs Rondeltrap with a demo in 2018, but has since then been fleshed out to be a full band. The band gets inspiration from nature and band like Septicflesh, Moonsorrow and Septic Flesh. Heavy guitars, a couple of layers of synths, grunts mixed with clean vocals and a BIG production create a unique sound in the Dutch metalscene. While we have plenty of thrash, death and black metal, symphonic metal isn’t a genre that a lot of Dutch bands choose to play. Epistulum more than fills our needs with their epicness.

From the Dead Masses

Music to me is always very emotional, and this album, from the first to the last track, is just one big rush of happiness. There are very few albums on which every track is equally good, and it all flows like one big track. From the Dead Masses is one of those rare gems where it doesn’t matter at what track you start, or how often you have it on repeat. The synths really make this album. This album reminds me of less know bands like Fail Emotions, Machinae Supremacy and Before the Dawn. However, Epistulum is very original. Most tracks on From the Dead Masses have a massive wall of sound coming at you at full speed, but while hard, it never feels heavy. The sound is very clean and clear.

The album starts and finishes with the same melody, which adds to the continuous feel. The Black Dawn Above feels like a movie soundtrack with the vocals being layered on top like a poem. The album continues with a song in Norther style, and I couldn’t be happier. Everything works so well, from the deep dark grunts to the crispy synths, the twin-kicks and the guitar harmonies. I love the vocal synths in the middle and of course there are some solo’s on the track as well.

So many awesome tracks

White Dusk Within would be a great track on it’s own, but From the Dead Masses has so many great tracks that I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know which track I love more. Orion, which follows White Dusk in the synth-focused leads. Hexascarcopagon, that’s more on the death-metal side of the spectrum, and dives into the industrial side of things again with the vocal effects to create synth-like robot voices. Dao of Misery, which is probably the most heavy track of the album. Exile’s Perdition, which is an progressive instrumental track, and takes me back to my love for Symphony X. Pandemonium Flux, which takes us into the Norther realm again. Thy Tides Spell Devastation, in which the vocals take it more towards the Children of Bodom range of melodic death. Scars of Coition, which is basically a powerbalad (I love the low vocals on this track). The epic synth solo’s on Tongues of Spearheads, after the hardcore vibes and crazy riffs the song starts with. Only to end with the same riff the album started with. I love it all. I think this album will be in my playlists for a long time, and will be on repeat by its self for at least another couple of days.

Verdict

If you are into melodic death metal, this is definitely an album you need to add to your list. I don’t know why Dutch Metal Bands aren’t widely spread over the globe by now, but Epistulum sure has a chance to grow beyond our tiny metalscene, and I really hope they do! I would love to see these guys on stage on one of the bigger festivals like Wacken, because this album shows they are ready to compete in the big league. This album is mature, very well produced, very well composed and all round EPIC. I’m really proud to be able to say that Epistulum is a DUTCH BAND <3

Tracklisting

  • Black Dawn Above
  • White Dusk Within
  • Orion
  • Hexasarcophagon
  • Dao of Misery
  • Exile’s Perdition
  • Pandemonium Flux
  • Thy Tides Spell Devastation
  • Scars of Coition
  • Tongues as Spearheads
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