Engineering The Void



by Alex Newton USER (49 Reviews)
February 18th, 2014 | 12 replies

Release Date: 02/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's not rocket science, but Soreption brings some great riffs and solid songwriting on their second effort.

Death metal is a genre that presents a conundrum for new artists. In order to gain recognition, a band has to fulfill certain expectations: precise musicianship, guttural vocals, challenging tempos, complex and ever-changing riffs, incessant double-kick drumming, guitar-centric structures, and so forth. The problem with such standards is that they also portend a certain amount of conformity, and therefore a band must also find a way to stand out without violating these essential characteristics of death metal. Soreption is a rising group that finds itself on the fence between these paradigms – perhaps perfectly so, as Engineering the Void sticks to its tech death guns while striving for a voice of its own. Such is the luxury afforded to a group as fundamentally sound as this Swedish quartet as they balance impressive chops with intrepid songwriting on their sophomore effort.

Engineering the Void is an album that immediately gets down to business. Lead track “Reveal the Unseen” begins with a flurry of blast beats and fast-rising guitar leads, then trades them for an oddly-timed but addictive riff. The track exudes confidence as it powers through a series of variations upon the original theme, a technique which becomes a hallmark of the album as a whole. While Fredrik Söderberg’s growled vocals are largely genre-typical in timbre, they shift around within the mix and are used in call-and-response fashion to add a deceptively diverse top layer to each song. Speaking of layers, the depth of Engineering’s mix is a decided strength throughout the album. Impressively, Anton Svedin plays all of the guitar parts, which are panned heavily and often differ minutely but intuitively to create space within the mix for the drums and vocals to fill. On “Breaking the Great Narcissist,” a recurring riff skips freely between duple and triple time as the bass and drums pound sixteenth notes, giving the song a polyrhythmic feel without actually leaving its established groove.

“Breaking the Great Narcissist” is also the first track in which Soreption introduces symphonic elements, another motif of the album. In contrast to actual symphonic death metal, in which orchestral backings are present throughout, Soreption uses ethereal breaks and choral accompaniments as stark changes in the temperament of a given song. Just as things start to run together, “Monumental Burden” breaks into an expansive bridge led by synth pads and deep brass, which marches ominously for thirty seconds before giving way to sweeping guitar arpeggios. The change effectively resets any monotony that had been building, and clears a path for “I am You” to slash its way forward with more mechanized riffing and stop-on-a-dime percussion. The rhythmic patterns within songs often change measure to measure, giving Engineering the Void a feeling of restlessness and vitality that a lot of djent bands could take a lesson from. This almost certainly stems from Soreption’s creative process, which begins with the drums. “It was something we started out doing in the early stages of the band and we have kept the writing technique since then,” the band explains. “We still want a very clean mechanical type of sound but we wanted to make the sound a bit more organic this time.”

The overall vibe is very much a mechanical one, as Engineering the Void lives up to the implications of its title. Regarding rest of the name, the “void” appears to be a loss of individuality and free thinking in our world; in the band’s words, “a way of seeing the world today, or in the near future, through a dystopian lens. It's not a political thing – more like perceptions [of] what society does to mankind.” Perhaps it’s a topic that’s been mined for all it’s worth, but it’s one that nonetheless fits well into Soreption’s precisely-machined musical sphere. Fortunately, Soreption largely succeeds in its efforts to fuse craft with art, and the various creative forays within Engineering the Void give it a leg up on the tech death masses. With crisp execution and dynamic arrangements, Engineering the Void is an impressive second statement from a band that is on the fast track to success if they can maintain their fine balance between tradition and novelty.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
February 18th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

First posted at

February 18th 2014


I'm definitely checking this out

February 18th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Cap. Maybe I'll drop him a line if he doesn't run across this.

February 18th 2014


nice review! breaking the great narcissist is one of the coolest tech-death songs i've heard in awhile.. it has a handful of mindblowingly good riffs. the "orchestral" interlude is seriously face-palm worthy though. it's like the DEFINITION of poor song writing. the interlude serves absolutely no purpose in the song and has nothing musically interesting going on in it whatsoever. it feels 100% shoehorned in for the sake of changing the pace and adding some kind of "progressive" element to the music and just totally ruins the flow of the song.

overall though there are a lot of really awesome riffs on this album, but i definitely think a little variety would've really pushed this to the next level (preferably not in the form of laughably pointless interludes). again, good review though!

February 18th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

*shrug* Everyone gets something different out of it. I'd rather a random orchestral interlude than a chug-chug breakdown anyway. and yes, thank you

February 19th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

i agree with Kubrick; there's some good riffs but overall i thought every song was far too samey. not much stood out. a pretty solid album though, once again

February 21st 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

hey what do you know, he found it after all

February 23rd 2014


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Competent release.

Nice review.

Digging: Xentrix - Bury The Pain

August 2nd 2018


Album Rating: 3.5

New album is soooo fucking gooooood!

August 3rd 2018


Im gonna cheggit.

Digging: Wookiefoot - You're It!

August 14th 2018


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

New album rules

December 20th 2018


These guys just killed it live

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