Friday, May 18, 2012

Shroud Of The Heretic - Boiled To Death

The blasphemous cover art should already reflect much of SOTH's music if you're a complete stranger to the band. An angry mob of crazed heretics wickedly boiling an innocent human being, and hate, dread and blasphemy altering the night. What ''Boiled To Death'' is, is actually something that offers some contrast and diversity to the listener instead of just robust worshiping of popular sounds which is also never a bad thing. SOTH have Incantation at the base of their music, but the inner depths of their music is far more complex. You'll notice a huge amount of atmosphere and ambiance swarming and encircling the album, and much of the evil feeling of the riffs come from the great deal of Portal and Blasphemy worshiping. The riffs are confusing and even dazzlingly chaotic, plus these guys can incorporate a good amount of groove into their music, coming from the chainsaw driven incursions of old school Swedish death metal guitars. An exceedingly tasty, yet forlorn feast.

Yes, the riffs are laden with crawling and ghastly hooks that are no doubt very chaotic and distorted, but the main thing that drives the black/war metal influence towards excellence is the incredibly low, dispersing delivery of the guttural vocals. I hear some Pillard in there, but mostly they're pure, rotting war metal vocals that could have easily fitted bands like Blasphemy, Archgoat or Revenge. The riffs really do shows a ton of variation and contrast during the Ep's thirty-five minute lifespan, which is by the way unusually long considering there are only six tracks on the Ep, each clocking near or more that six minutes. For people who aren't used to the grisly, raw nature of death metal, this may be quite a tormenting experience, but for people like me, this things is an eternal riff fest, laden with deliciously evil riffing all around. As I stated, the Incantation influence lingers on pretty much every track, showing prominence with thick, down tuned tremolo chugs an ponderous drum-guitar chokes, but there are songs where the other influences have their moment of glory and outshine the others.

''Frigid Waters'' is as evil as it can be, and what's more is that it's garnished (or should I say distorted) with infectious Swedeath grooves and particularly faster riffs, with lots of sharp turns and decisive blows, it stands  as a stellar track. And even if tracks show variation, I can't really be picky with them and choose several highlights as the whole Ep acts like a whole. If I had to choose stand out tracks, however, I would, but it would be no easy task. The accessibility that you can attain even through that thick, shadowy atmosphere is amazing, and SOTH can do something that many have failed to achieve, thus, even though this may seem eternally numbing and very futile in the energy department, the sharp delivery of the riffs capture the listener's attention right away, and won't let go of it without a fight. This is a very good mixture of black and death metal, and the correct way to dub it would be to call it blackened death metal, as it leans more of the death side. For fans of revolting and blasphemous death metal that's chaotic and doomy as it's cryptic, then this should be damn near an essential considering the current metal scene.

Frigid Waters
Womb Of Darkness

Rating: 86%

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