XPUS are a mysterious new death metal force from Italy and they are well worth checking out if you like your DM gloomy, morbid and sounding like it just erupted from a rotten crypt. Although not without a flaw or two, these evil revenants perform the amazing feat of sounding fairly original while evoking the spirit of many early progenitors of death.

If you prefer chunky, oozing riffs with the hint of doom, XPUS are your boys. Even their faster moments (and they are capable of DEICIDE level speed) have that essential feeling of sickness and sorrow. There are touches of CELTIC FROST, OBITUARY, ASPHYX and slower Swedish death metal, but after a lot of racking my brain, I finally figured out what this album reminds me of the most: the classic SAMAEL album Blood Ritual. The songs have that creepy-crawly groove to them…this is death metal that stalks you patiently like a hungry ghoul. And there are some massive riffs here, like the opening to ‘The Gates Of Doom’, and ‘Broken Is The Seal Of Equilibrium’. The vocalist Aren has a kind of bubbly, animalistic growl that adds to the eeriness, and even the album intro and outro are genuinely uneasy to listen to.

The only real setback is that XPUS sometimes lets a song go on too long, and they beat a riff into the ground. ‘Holy Sperm Upon The Lambs’ is a pretty good example of a track that just went on too long. But on the whole, In Umbra Mortis Sedent is a Hell of a debut from a band that knows how to keep death metal morbid and gruesome.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality

In Umbra Mortis Sedent
Transcending Obscurity Records
5 / 6