Petrification – Sever Sacred Light

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It took around six years for Portland, Oregon-based death metal squad Petrification to return with a new album. The band was formed in 2014 and launched its debut EP “Summon Horrendous Destruction” in 2017 which was followed by the first studio album “Hollow of the Void”. Falling under the category of old-school death metal Petrification is mostly inspired by bands like Autopsy and Bolt Thrower. Still, the composition and songwriting lie in the groovy aggressive mixture. Their songs don’t focus on fast-paced tempos and blast beats with the guitars stimulating galvanic riffs.

However, when I first listened to Petrification their music was slightly leaning toward the cosmic style of death metal, although nothing fancy about their solos the riffs were mostly sordid and had plenty of atmospheres. “Sever Sacred Light” brings something different to the table and the riffs are amplified by buzz-sawing guitars. The eight tracks in the sophomore are fucking rotten, repulsive, and filthy, nevertheless Petrification sound has its unique take on death metal. In the opening track “Twisted Visions of Creation” the guitars emit some crushing moments with the atmosphere coated in slow melodic chords when the pacing shifts to a blasting heaviness.

The massive effect of the guitars and the double bass work of the drums are supported by a rhythm guitar section in the next track “Oneiric Obscurum”. The guitar work is mostly inspired by the 90s death metal and this somehow shows that the band has put effort to re-structure its overall sound. There are some slow moments and tempo changes within each song, the drumming is mainly good adding a reverb to the songs. The growls are typical styled death metal and all together the band pulls out some solid death metal riffs, the heavy rumble of the drums brings some dynamics to the forefront.

Though there is a focus on the atmosphere and apart from the tempo changes, on the songwriting level the sophomore lacks the riffing depth. “Temporal Entrapment” features some heavy drumming sections there are similarities that can be drawn from Swedish and Finnish vintage death metal bands despite this Petrification delivers effective riffs, but they aren’t memorable. The production of the album gives the songs a rawer sound, as you can hear some slower tempos on tracks like “Cadaverous Delirium”, which presents tons of heavy riffs that can be described as groovy. The opening moments of this track hook the listener with the slow, atmospheric guitar intro, but the luster soon diminishes.

The songs have a murky sound with the driving bass guitar providing an extra texture to the music, there is a dirty and murky tone, perhaps the best track and my favorite song is “Sepulchral Lesions”. The guitars somehow launch in the doomy spectrum with the guitars and the growls providing obscurity to the music, and from the songwriting prospect, the sophomore isn’t as catchy or memorable. The guitars ooze sick putrid riffs and the drums are somehow organic I found some of the guitar lines to be interesting, and it seems that Petrification leans toward sludge death metal. The thickness of the riffs has that odd mixture of death doom metal and similarly tracks like “Seething Cosmological Dread” burst into an up-tempo. To a certain extent, the drums here sound dynamic with slower riffs this organic quality is utilized to create an aura of putridity.

The rhythm varies from one song to another, whereas the growls spew sickness and a grimy guitar sound to give the listener a rotten sense of old-school death metal. As for the song “Transmissions of the Unseen” delivers some of the best rhythm section in the entire album that sounds a bit doomy.

The song shifts to heavy pacing with some slower drumming parts to create the atmosphere. Though nothing on the album is overly technical or complex, I would say that Petrification has a knack for technicality and there are some good qualities to be found among these songs.

The growling effect in the final track “The Hourglass Dissolves” begins with slamming drums double bass kicks and a heavy bass guitar line that combines some intense moments. The drumming fills are brutal and organic and the reverb gives it a deeper sound and there is a good combination of slower and faster moments.


  • Music / Songwriting 7/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 7/10
  • Mix / Production 7/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 7/10
  • Originality 7/10

From the very beginning “Sever Sacred Light” stimulates a dreadful kind of atmosphere emphasized to deliver plenty of foreboding unease, the album is moderately recommended for fans of old-school death metal.

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