Eternally Engraved
Sculpture and Omnio at the El Matador, Barreiro, Portugal
May 22, 1999

by: Pedro Azevedo
Ever since the first time I listened to Sculpture's debut MCD _Like a Dead Flower_ [CoC #30], it was quite clear for me that they had very different characteristics from most other Portuguese bands -- different for the better. Skill, emotion and determination were all equally abundant in each of the MCD's three main songs. Due to Art Music's incompetence, though, Sculpture's highly promising full-length album had been delayed for several months already by the time the band played this show in Barreiro -- their very first, despite having been together for a few years already. I was unfortunately unable to watch the other band that played that night, Omnio, so they shall not be mentioned again in this review. Nevertheless, they did seem quite interesting from what I heard during their sound check: doomy metal with full-time acoustic guitar and both male and female vocals.

The result of putting together a band like Sculpture, who have no problem in reproducing their CD sound live, and a strong and clear live sound was an approximately 45 minute long lesson in doom metal. After their new, very mood-setting keyboard intro "Unlighted Martyrs Dream" came "At the Gates of Shadows World" to show just how tight and determined the band was and also that the live sound would not fail them. One of the new slow songs, "Made of Stone", followed, and then "Autumn Serenades" and "Our Crying Earth" blended together for even greater effect. Another new slow song followed, a particularly excellent one, "Her Once Fructuous Womb", and then three more new songs, two of which slightly faster than Sculpture's norm. Each of the new songs was more than worth its time. The slow ones are of the same heartfelt, painful and emotional ilk as the older ones and also of similar quality. The two faster ones also worked remarkably well live and proved to be quite powerful. To put it simply, Sculpture proved that they have an album's worth of -excellent- songs waiting to be recorded. Besides the technical excellence I already expected from each and every band member (talented and precise guitar and bass playing, skilled and creative drumming), their temporary vocalist Nocturnus Horrendus (from the black metal band Noctu, whose project Corpus Christi's demo is also reviewed in this issue) played former vocalist Carlos d'Agua's part quite well, showing a very good range of well performed vocal styles. Finally, I must also mention the truly remarkable feeling shown by bassist Pedro Daniel throughout the show; true dedication and emotion that are increasingly hard to find in today's commercially polluted scene.

Unfortunately, however, Sculpture have come to a point where their sadly short career will come to an end, despite the efforts to avoid it. Having been one of the fortunate few to have witnessed what will apparently remain as their only live performance, I still find it very reasonable to write this article, as for me it was an experience never to be forgotten. Sculpture certainly had all the potential to become Portugal's finest band in the hearts of many doom metallers, and they most definitely already were just that and more in mine.

(article submitted 15/6/1999)


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