When I first heard MAZE OF SOTHOTH a couple of months ago I was immediately intrigued by the combo of harsh brutality and technical proficiency on display. You have to understand, I get a lot, and I mean A LOT of Death Metal bands thrown my way, and not all of them merit writing about. But this unit and their upcoming record Soul Demise (January 9, Everlasting Spew Records) are totally worth the time and effort. Italy usually produces some very good extreme metal acts like HIDEOUS DIVINITY and DECEPTIONIST, and we can now safely add these guys to that list.
Over the course of eight songs, an intro, and an interlude, this disc has no shortage of fiery riffs, pummeling drums, and deep growling vocals. The first track that latched itself onto me like an alien parasite was “Blind” with the way it just lets the bullets fly. The second was album closer “Divine Sacrifice” because it really sounds like the band saved the best for last. Each member raises his game to ensure this tune will ring in your ears long after it ends. As far as riffs go, you’d be hard pressed to find a better opening one than on “Lies”. It even borders on Black Metal while still keeping one foot firmly on the brutal side.
This naturally bleeds right into “Seed of Hatred’ which essentially picked up where the former left off. For a second I thought it was still “Lies” due to the flow of things. “Multiple Eyes” is another choice cut and features arguably the best razor wire guitar line on the whole thing. This combined with the deep growls made it stand out from the pack as well as an instant favorite. “The Outsider” is the sonic equivalent of one of those big-assed trucks hauling boulders to be crushed like your damn skull. Things take a little twist musically with “The Dark Passenger” but in a good way. The offbeat intro riff then gives way to blast beats and dissonant riffage.
“At the Mountain of Madness” has elements of Doom in it, something that normally drives me away, but in this case it’s worth hanging around because it’s not just one note ringing out for five minutes. There’s a lumbering, stalkerish riff throughout and that certainly keeps things from getting dull. All told MAZE OF SOTHOTH is a band that will no doubt continue to get better with each record if this one is any indication. The songs are very memorable and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. In the meantime I can happily recommend Soul Demise as a very good, solid effort to any and all fans of Death Metal.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Blind”, “Divine Sacrifice”, “The Dark Passenger”, “Multiple Eyes”