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SULPHUR

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Norway


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Sulphur biography
SULPHUR arose from the ashes of the nineties Norwegian black metal act from Bergen TAAKERIKET. The band was originally formed as a four piece, and with this line-up recorded their first demo; "A Relic for the Damned" in October 2000. This recording earned the band some initial interest, amongst others a support gig for AETERNUS and an appearance at Hole in the sky 2001. After this, the band fell on some hard times and little happened for some years.

In 2005 SULPHUR re-emerged with new material and a fresh and dedicated line-up. At this point the band recorded the demo "Outburst of Desecration". This earned them a deal with Osmose Productions, great reviews as well as new live appearances, amongst others on Hole in the Sky 2005. Eager to continue down the road of success the band headed back into the studio in March 2006. Again under the supervision of producer Bjørnar E. Nilsen which also produced the "Outburst" demo. After some intensive weeks the album "Cursed Madness" was finished and was unleashed upon the world, 22nd january 2007. The second album "Thorns In Existence" was produced for Dark Essence records and released on November 9th, 2009.

SULPHUR plays a technical hybrid of Black and Death Metal, with an increased presence of experimental and progressive elements on the Thorns In Existence album. The band claims influences from KING CRIMSON, SATYRICON, CAMEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE, DARKTHRONE, JETHRO TULL, SLAYER, EMPEROR as well as DISSECTION.

Biography taken from the band's Facebook and adapted by Bonnek

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2CV2CV
Transglobal
Audio CD$16.66
$0.32 (used)
Cursed MadnessCursed Madness
Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$3.62
$12.33 (used)
HighchairHighchair
Transglobal
Audio CD$20.79
$1.99 (used)
Thorns in ExistenceThorns in Existence
Import
Dark Essence 2010
Audio CD$7.87
$21.66 (used)
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SULPHUR discography


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SULPHUR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Cursed Madness
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
Thorns In Existence
2009

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SULPHUR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Thorns In Existence by SULPHUR album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Thorns In Existence
Sulphur Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars 'Thorns In Existence' - Sulphur (8/10)

Although it has spread throughout the world, black metal first picked up momentum- and consequently became infamous- in Norway. Although Norway's golden age of black metal is now long past, there remains a strong presence there. Sulphur has now been around for the better part of a decade, but I only found out about them recently. There are musicians here who have also found a place in other Norwegian black metal acts like Gorgoroth, Enslaved, and Vulture Industries, so in a way, this band is a perfect representation of where the Norwegian black metal scene stands today. Drawing sounds from heavyweights Dimmu Borgir and the progressive metal of Emperor frontman Ihsahn's solo career, Sulphur's second album 'Thorns In Existence' is a fine piece of work from this band, although its meticulously produced sound may scare away those looking for a more traditional sound.

The way that Sulphur opens up their album instantly makes it clear that they are different from the bands we have heard before in Norwegian black metal. Instead of jumping straight into blastbeats, or a drawn out ambiance with wolf howls and what have you, the band uses a mellotron. The instrument that is best known for its use in progressive rock is opening a black metal album, and instantly gives it a progressive tinge that will lurk in the music throughout the album. Musically, the style of black metal that Sulphur plays leans in close to the cleanly produced, symphonic black metal that Dimmu Borgir plays, and this is likely to be the first comparison that alot of listeners draw when they first listen to 'Thorns In Existence'. However, a better way to compare Sulphur might be to Ihsahn, whose solo material has been some of the greatest metal to come out of Norway in recent years. Although very melodic at times, the thing that makes Sulphur most different from the early black metal is its technicality. The blistering riff that opens up 'True Father Of Lies' is indicative of this, rumbling through notes quickly and furiously, throwing listeners into a very intense soundscape without much warning.

Instrumentally, the band doesn't throw many more surprises at the listener after the first couple of songs, but the musicianship is excellent and often balances technicality with heaviness quite well, even throwing in a dash of traditional beauty to soften things up a little. One thing I didn't find quite so excellent were the vocals of Thomas Hoyven. Not to say that his vocals are necessarily bad, but I felt underwhelmed by them. They are close to Ihsahn's growls, but lack the same dynamic and power to them. With that being said, I feel that 'Thorns In Existence' could have had a little more emotional intensity to it. While I am very impressed on a musical level with what the band is doing here, I would have liked it to pull me in on a more visceral level as well. I am rarely one to say this, but the album did feel a little too cleanly produced, which may have kept it from sounding as atmospheric as it could have been. That, paired with vocals that could have had some more flair to them detract from what is otherwise a great experience. Sulphur's 'Thorns In Existence' is definite proof that the Norwegian black metal scene has moved forward past its origins.

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