Oct 2022 31

Album CoverSulphur Nurse
Album: Roopkund
Category: Noise / Experimental / Industrial
Label: Tartarus Records
Release Date: 2022-02-05


Sulphur Nurse consists of Eeli Helin, Dan Dolby, and Matt Finney, each having quite the pedigree in the field, with this marking their debut as a collective unit. Roopkund is in many senses a difficult album to describe. It lacks anything resembling melody, and the songs themselves don’t present radically discrete characteristics – just howls, whispers, and ear-rending soundscapes. Because of its focus on texture, atmosphere, and ambience, the sum of its parts is a somewhat monolithic construct. Half horror film score and half industrial experimentation, it’s something you’re liable to put on in the background to instill a sense of hellish dread rather than relax after a long day… and this is, of course, par for its course. The signature elements of the trio’s collaboration are what they describe as “an assortment of real life horror stories,” played out via whispered narration smothered in pulsing synths, abrasive pads and textures, and Tartarean bellows and shrieking. What variance exists between the tracks is primarily in the overall energy of each number and the dynamics therein, but to most listeners, casual or concentrated, the end result is likely to be one of uncertainty around just what exactly they’ve gotten themselves into. In this, there’s something to be said for Roopkund; it’s horrifying and senseless, much like its subject matter, so it’s undoubtedly successful in this respect. In another sense, where it fails is fashioning singularly memorable moments that invite replays. Outside of manic and unwell minds who appreciate immersion in such a hellish milieu for atmospheric or artistic influence, it’s unlikely to be well loved by casual listeners. Overall, an experimental and deliberately offensive release that piques one’s interest as to what comes next for the trinity that is Sulphur Nurse, but nonetheless, a polarizing and markedly unpleasant experience for those who put it on expecting anything more conventional industrial or metal.
Track list:

  1. A Headless Body in a Cave Near Idaho
  2. Sanguine Clots in the Sewers of Florence
  3. Fowls Hatching on a Marrow Mound
  4. The Vaults of Myrrh
  5. Thames Running with Limbs Swathed in Burlap
  6. Osseous Grounds of Roopkund
  7. Quiet Hum at the Servant Cabin
  8. Trapdoor Gait

Sulphur Nurse
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Tartarus Records
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Colin Andrew MacDougall (VexationsandtheVile)

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