SEKHMET – Spiritual Eclipse
Fine wine ages the best: that's totally something one could say when speaking of Sekhmet. The Czech band released its fifth album in October 2016, honouring the hopes of listening to another successful piece of work with this "Spiritual Eclipse". After all, speaking with a positive mind and yet without wearing blinkers, I dare state that until now these gentlemen didn't get any disc wrong — seriously.
It's true that once again we're facing not an album walking a fresh, brand new path, but, as it happened before, the band's performance is solidly rough, thanks to a good amount of melodies, well placed dissonances, fascinating solo inserts (as in "Death Is The Law") and really sharp, non-simplistic structures, capable of enhancing both its aggressive and its atmospheric faces. In the latter respect, Agares leaves its handle on the microphone, willingly relying on singing tunes with an orthodox-ritualistic flavour supported by Lord Set and Warlord's backing vocals. Both scenarios are maliciously included within songs like "Religious Infection", "Die For Your God", "Fanatical Worship" and "Death Is The Law". Naming these four songs doesn't imply that the other titles of the tracklist aren't as good: the whole set — as far as I'm concerned — reaches its highest peaks in "The Greatest Deception" and "The Doctrine Falls", which indeed proves its overall flawlessness.
I believe that the Czech band's approaching to their fellow countrymen Inferno and Marduk's sounds and production choices is not bad, since Sekhmet are clearly, pleasantly infected by them and yet they keep on being themselves, with their marked bass uniqueness which makes them sound quite closer to Swedish acts; moreover, in my humble opinion, the album doesn't end with a "Funeral Bitch" cover by chance. It's anyway undeniable the fact that Sekhmet are capable of giving their songs a distinctive mark, something within their DNA, which makes their devotion to the genre transpire, a feeling so pure and sincere that is more of a weapon than a shame.
"Spiritual Eclipse" is the most expressive and refined work of Sekhmet, composed and produced with reverence and passion towards a world that literally flows within the veins of the formation. Set and friends' vision, also published as a vinyl thanks to the always attentive Immortal Frost Productions' efforts, aligns itself with the other quality, beautiful and black performances coming from the same land and realised over the years by the above mentioned Inferno but also by Master's Hammer, Maniac Butcher and the more recent Cult Of Fire. In conclusion: if your hunger for black metal makes you want to explore this very scene, you can always trust them.