Here we are again with a band I knew nothing of before, but am thoroughly enjoying now. In this case the band in question is SEROCS and the record is The Phobos/Deimos Suite (out now, Everlasting Spew Records). It took me awhile to really dig into this one because, you know, life gets in the way. But once I was able to sit with it for a bit I definitely liked what I heard. This is the second full-length from what was once a one-man project and has now grown into a full band. Rooted in Technical Death Metal, the disc obviously goes hard from start to finish, but at the same time you can hear the members’ mastery of their respective instruments. This is most notable on the drums, as Kevin Paradis is the undisputed MVP of the whole thing in my eyes.
Band founder and guitarist Antonio Freyre has written some very distinct riffs that go hand in hand with vocalist Laurent Bellemare’s deep, dark death growls and gutturals. The first two songs “Being” and “Nihilus” are proof positive of this. But my ears REALLY pricked up when I heard “Thanatophobia,” easily my favorite on the whole thing. Freyre and fellow guitarist Phil Tougas go nuts, and the intricate middle section anchored by Paradis and bassist Antoine Daigneault is like organized chaos, with tightly wound stops and starts. Gotta love it! The interesting thing about “(REM)nants” is that it’s a bit different from the tracks that came before. Sure it’s heavy as Hell, but you can sense a change in tactics, which works fine.
“Revenants” was another favorite from jump due to the sheer brutality of it. I can close my eyes and visualize in my head someone’s face literally being torn off and eaten, something that makes me very happy. Another exercise in brutal-meets-tech is “SCP-106”, which means it too is a surefire winner. “Nonbeing” has the distinction of being the album’s most melodic track while never once slacking in the heavy or ballsy department. It just happens to be catchy while also coming to crush your nuts. Closer “Deimos” is an epic that clocks in at 11:11 (make a wish) with several twists and turns, and is a fine way to cap the record off. Quite frankly the whole band just goes apeshit at times, and it’s one of the better closers I’ve heard in awhile.
Freyre has said that, “We wanted to explore Hell, as many other death metal bands do. However, we tried to put a spin on it and talk about what I believe is the real kind of Hell. I don’t think Hell is the place everyone sings about. It’s not about gore, torture or demons. True Hell is the one we live through, the one in our heads. True Hell is the hate and destruction that we spread around on a daily basis.” I found the concept very intriguing, and after reading that I couldn’t wait to get into the music. I am very glad that SEROCS fell into my lap, and even more glad that my good buddy Tito Vespasiani nudged me to listen ASAP. You should too, as you will NOT be disappointed by The Phobos/Deimos Suite.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Revenants”, “Thanatophobia”, “SCP-106”, “Deimos”