Tuesday, 31 July 2012

TIAMAT - Sumerian Cry (1990)

01  Intro - Sumerian Cry (Part I)
02  In The Shrines Of The Kingly Dead
03  The Malicious Paradise
04  Necrophagous Shadows
05  Apotheosis Of Morbidity
06  Nocturnal Funeral
07  Altar Flame
08  Evilized
09  Where The Serpents Ever Dwell/Sumerian Cry (Part II)
10  The Sign Of The Pentagram

'Sumerian Cry' is the debut album from the Swedish metal band Tiamat. The album was released June 7th 1990 via CMFT Productions and was recorded at Sunlight Studio, Stockholm, Sweden, in 1989, when the band was known under the original name Treblinka. The name Tiamat comes from a primeval Babylonian goddess in the Babylonian and Sumerian mythos.

The recordings here are the last of the primitive, chunky blackened death metal material from this roundup of sinister Swedes. This is a continuation from where Treblinka left off. A band that needless to say had some lethal, hellish outputs, but needed to have some touchups with timing and mixing. As some songs have been re-recorded, 'Sumerian Cry' is essentially more an extension of that band than sounding like the later and vastly different Tiamat that more people would be familiar with. There is a huge amount of Bathory and Celtic Frost worship on this record, so it's no wonder there are black metal touches to the usual death metal tone. There are some songs which are slowed down in tempo and impart a doomy touch to the whole atmosphere of the disc. There are also some weird uses of keys and xylophone (a truly laughable moment during "Evilized") in places, but they manage not to sound too cheesy.

These thirty-eight minutes are listenable, but any truly interesting moments are almost nonexistent (apart from perhaps the odd, recycled buzz-saw riff). 'Sumerian Cry' is imbibed with the defects and the hilarious vices of a genre that demands some very specific co-ordinates to be good, or at least competent - The brutality and the perverse imagery are not enough for Tiamat, or perhaps are just dispersed and watered down. It's obvious the best of the band was waiting somewhere else. It needs pointing out that Najse's drumming on this record is pretty awful. He lays down some very basic drum patters, off-beat fills and really seems to struggle to move up a gear or two which, in turn, makes the rest of the music sound ten times sloppier. Johan Edlund's tired growls carry the album ahead, until the final notes of this semi-amateurish death metal disc, with fairly decent production after all, but little more than that.

Highlights; "Necrophagous Shadows", "Nocturnal Funeral" and "Where The Serpents Ever Dwell".

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