|Death Metal, Doom Metal
June 25th, 2012
Release length: 1:12:47
From the moment Sui Caedere kicks in, you immediately will recognize the obvious Doom Metal influence to the dominant Death Metal presence. The bass of the album comes through loudly with a strong deeper tone to make the impact a far more blunt one than the guitar’s heavy, yet surprisingly cleaner mid-pitch distortions might allow at first. These work well to weave a haunting atmosphere along with the often beautiful keyboards that show up here and there, though largely in the background for effect unless pushed to the forefront during the slower, open passages. They also work together well enough to establish a cold, hopeless tone to the material. The drumming is fantastic, having a hollow yet echoed bite from the snares that is a bit distant in the mix. Unfortunately this is how the bass kicks are represented, having a nice, rich thud you won’t be able to pick up on too much thanks to how they can be lost in the mix, though the cymbals come through a little louder, and just as crisp as the previous part of the kit. Vocally, there isn’t anything too unique, but the stern, commanding guttural approach works perfectly with the music to begin with, leaving no room to really work in something different that might clash with the atmospheric beauty of this album.
“Awoken by Crows” establishes the tone of the album by utilizing audio samples of crows crying out for a good while before the slower, uncompromising music actually kicks in. The heavy riffs eventually give way to your first taste of the hopeless atmosphere through the highly emotional chords that really are moving against the blistering double bass kicks that shine through as if hit with a lot more vigor than in other areas. The tone of the song continues to shift as you are drug along, including some more technical riffs that usher in a hint of standard Brutal Death Metal, as well as an empty bridge that incorporates the crowing from the start of the track once more, making this one of the most memorable experiences of the album. “A Note to Say Farewell” is another awe-inspiring track that handles itself in a much slower manner, and not one of the first, but the stronger vocal presence and depressing chords cause it to stick out on its own for the over seven minute length, never dropping the listener’s attention.
“Performed in Graphic Pain” is quite the different beast than the rest. This song actually has more of a glorious vibe behind it that sounds phenomenal. The first two minutes of the song are far more uplifting than anything else the album has to offer, and the beautiful keyboards that follow, segwaying into a short solo over it, continue to tug at the heart strings before slamming into one of the richest offerings of the album that continues to grow on a bit of an epic scale. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite reach that kind of height. The bass kicks tear through the audio once more around the four minute mark, similar to how they did on “Awoken by Crows,” which leads into a bit of a standard Death Metal offering that will have you banging your head along much harder than on the previous passages, and even those that follow. This sort of environment doesn’t stick around, but the previous dismal tone does become a lot stronger for “Yet I Breathe,” which is just a miserable, depressing song all around. It sounds like an ode to remembering someone who has passed, or anthem to embrace your own closure despite the title. The haunting guitar chords and what melodies exist are moving amid their slower pace, which allows the guttural vocals to hit the much deeper notes a lot more often outside the less sorrowful chorus. There’s no denying this hard hitting offering will linger in your mind for a long while, and be one of the primary reasons you come back time and again after the initial few spins.
There are some obvious filler sections at work on “A Note to Say Farewell,” as well as with many other songs. But, while those do pad the song out a bit, such at the atmospherically charged areas where the momentum drops even moreso, still help to establish the environment through well executed transitions. “Depths of a Sick Mind” utilizes these quite often as well, incorporating some keyboard effects against spoken word samples that have been altered. Unfortunately, this does show the band kind of beating this concept to death, especially when it starts coming down to one short line of lyrics and music that phases out to extended passages such as this, really taking you out of the music even if you try to look at it through a Progressive Metal eye. On top of that, you also have to deal with the heavily keyboard driven material that can do more damage than good. “The Haunting” is a superb example of trudging Doom Metal at its finest. The haunting tones take a much more grim turn, and the pace often slows to a crawl, as well as utilizes some effects and even keyboards to build up the burdening sense of the music, though this doesn’t always have the most dynamic impact that the group clearly is going for. This becomes the case towards the end when the keyboards are used to close things out, but just don’t offer a climax with enough closure to make you satisfied with the end results despite how well it sounds and works with the heavier experience before it. The only other complaint is the sudden cut of music to the closing track, “Departure,” abruptly ending the slow fade out to this enjoyable, though not the most unique conclusion that could have been created, leaving a bitter taste from the toned down music compared to the nine tracks before it.
When all is said and done, Sui Caedere does end up having a few issues, including additional keyboards not holding up their end when they become the focal point, as well as the extended bridges for padding that do or don’t work out. If you love bands like Draconian or Novembers Doom, then this is an album you really need to check out. One spin through will leave you amazed that this group has such atmospheric and tightly composed sound for having only existed about two years at this point. Eye of Solitude puts a great deal of potential on display throughout Sui Caedere, earning the right to be a band you need to keep a close eye on now, as well as in the near and distant future as they continue to grow into the role of one of Doom’s Metal most important up and coming new bands.
01. Awoken by Crows – 6:23
02. The Haunting – 7:21
03. Strigoi – 4:38
04. A Note to Say Farewell – 7:17
05. Depths of a Sick Mind – 5:50
06. Those Who Don’t Return – 13:12
07. Performed in Graphic Pain – 6:36
08. Totem of a Pagan Thought – 7:07
09. Yet I Breathe – 7:41
10. Departure – 6:42
|Overall Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Kaotoxin Records via Clawhammer PR.