Maze of Sothoth – Soul Demise

Everlasting Spew Records
01/2017

“Maze of Sothoth’s debut full-length, Soul Demise, hits upon several unique markers. One perspective is oxymoronic, where Soul Demise possesses a very real capability to become severally underappreciated”

Everlasting Spew Records
01/2017


Cthulhu’s Calling
Lies
Seed of Hatred
Multiple Eyes
The Outsider
The Dark Passenger
At the Mountain of Madness
Blind
Azzaihg’nimehc
Divine Sacrifice

Maze of Sothoth’s debut full-length, Soul Demise, hits upon several unique markers. One perspective is oxymoronic, where Soul Demise possesses a very real capability to become severally underappreciated. Maze of Sothoth deliver a musical saturation bombing, a show of force that is uniquely proficient and intensely delivered for a debut full-length. With technical death metal, death metal in general, undergoing a siege of oversaturation, Maze of Sothoth manage to silently step to the side and put down 2017’s first top-tier death metal release.

The production on Soul Demise is reminiscent of something from the early 2000’s. Digitized, squeezed guitar distortion that gives lower end chords an ungodly compressed chunk, punchy bass drums attached to bright, sharp, popping snare with warm, muted bass lines underneath. Vocals are clear and evenly blended into the mix. In a wider view, there is an appreciable lack of effects of both guitars and vocals, giving the final blanket of sound a purer tonal quality.

Invoking pleasant thoughts of the rhythm intensive approach executed by early Suffocation blended with the hyperviolent, interval-based melodic phrasing of Lord Worm-era Cryptopsy or early Aborted. Guitars bleat out tremolo picked, rhythm based melodic lines that shift on symmetric intervals for length and are typically resolved in a manner that feeds well into repetition or entering a new phrase or segment of riffs. The rhythm intensive segments of the song are shored by a drum performance that casts a giant shadow; a small compact kit that relies on pure speed and rhythmic alternates and alterations to come off sounding like it is much bigger than what it is.

‘Divine Sacrifice’, originally appearing on the band’s 2011 Guardian of the Gate demo, gets an update on Soul Demise. The composition and execution recalls Morbid Angel’s Covenant in some aspects, especially with the Azagthothian lead work early in the track. Drummer Matteo Moioli gives a top tier performance, rivaling the pure assault of today’s superhuman drummers, with enough finesse to carve out a demand for attention.

With the bulk of the songwriting attributed to guitarist Fabio Marasco and drummer Matteo Moioli, coupled with the arrangement process of Soul Demise taken on as a band, highlights both individual versatility and craftsmanship at an instrumental level and the solid formulaic approach to composition shows that Maze of Sothoth possess a genuine, if not rare, chemistry as a group of artists working on a common goal.

As a debut album, Maze of Sothoth deliver a performance that annihilates most of the debuts in the post-2010 technical death metal world, has enough power and replay value to rival top releases of the current times, and is massive first step forward for a band that should be closely watched going forward.

-A.Krause

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Author: A.Krause

Not human.

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