Review Summary: "Open doors for the sheep of your god" - brutality doesn't preclude elegance.
The evergrowing number of extreme metal bands is nothing short than a double-edged weapon, when you decide to search for some new brutal death metal you are always assaulted by dozens of gory cover artworks and "shocking" band logos that more often than not have the only effect of making you sigh, knowing that what you see is likely half of the entire spectacle offered. There are exceptions, and Italian "newcomers" Maze of Sothoth are one of them. Despite the release of an EP in 2011, Soul Demise
is the band's first full-length album and, by any means, a promising sign of things to come.
As superficial as it may sound, the band's presentation matters. So Soul Demise
is presented with a splendid artwork, tasteful in its chaos (that white thing is a cathedral
), and upon inspection one thing becomes clear when the music begins: Maze of Sothoth know what and how they are writing. It would be understandable to dismiss the band as a simple Nile-meets-Morbid Angel affair, but it wouldn't be fair. These guys are good extreme metal songwriters. There are a few instances where it feels like there's a bit too much chugging, but the good far outweights the bad (which isn't actually bad).
One thing the band excels at is sheer entertainment. From the tragic tremolo serenades that open "Lies", the listener is instantly trapped in the maze. They can sapiently toy with the music, suddendly throwing in new short riffs and structural twists, or taking a little detour into doomy territory like in "At the Mountain of Madness", a song that sounds as Lovecraftian as the title implies. This good death metal ear makes every hook as hard hitting as it is catchy, see for example the intro of "The Outsider". In fact, with a slick 40 minutes runtime and a solid production job, Soul Demise
is quite an infectious album, its absolute star arguably being the earth-shaking but detailed drumming. There aren't any real faults on the band's side. It's "just" a good brutal death metal album; a promising debut with "given" flaws like a certain sense of monotony, though I'm sure fans of the genre won't mind it too much.