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When I was listening to the second full length CD from Spanish death metal combo Scent of Death (“Of Martyrs's Agony and Hate” was released in December 2012, check it out!) I realized that I haven’t actually listened to the debut CD of this band for few years already, having it in my collection pretty much since the day of its release, which was way back in 2005 – I think I got a promotional copy of it directly from the band (or the label?? I cannot remember that anymore), reviewed it quite positively, rating it for 80 out of 100 points, which is not bad. But unfortunately for many reasons I haven’t listened to “Woven in the Book of Hate” ever since, so the second album was kind of stimulating force to give the debut CD one (or six hehe) more listen.
I must say that when I listen to “Woven in the Book of Hate” nowadays I still like the album quite much, maybe it doesn’t torn me apart as much as some of the other death metal releases, which I have been torturing recently (like Coffin Texts or Nominon, to name just two), but surely it is a very good album… in some ways maybe even better than the second one. It – just like the “Martyrs’s Agony and Hate” – also is pretty technical, very brutal and uncompromising death metal, but maybe slightly more straight forward and all in all maybe also not so complicated in its strictures as the mentioned second CD. I mean there are some pretty old school, very US death metal influenced tracks and here I must mention especially my two favourites: “A Thorn in the Forehead of God” – which sounds like it was hugely influenced by the mighty Immolation, from such LPs as “Failure of Gods” and “Here in After” – and the title track, which from the other hand has a massively heavy riffing resembling me the mid era Morbid Angel, from such LPs as “Gateways to Annihilation” and “Formulas Fatal to the Flesh”. Both songs are really excellent, especially the later one, with its powerful riffing, which Azagthoth would surely be envy for. This song is really an epic motherfucker, the ideas in it are just excellent, very well composed, arranged and performed, so definitely I recommend you to listen to this track. Great guitar leads, memorable Morbid-esque riffing, some very fast tunes as well… hell yeah! “Circles of Eternal Return” again have the influence of Immolation more dominating, especially vocal wise, as the growling of Lois really reminds me Ross Dolan’s powerful vocals, while the riffing may be a mixture of both Immolation and Morbid Angel, depending on which part of the song we’re talking about. Well, Scent of Death doesn’t even try to hide who their main source of influence was, covering “Day of Suffering” in truly killer way! I like this cover a lot!
But Scent of Death is showing their great skills all the time through the album and “Dancing Upon the Thin Line of Insanity” is definitely another fine example for that… bulldozing song, with a wall of massacring riffs and full brutalism! This song is technical, but at the same time really straight forward and relentless! “I am the slave of freedom, I'm free of bindings…” – great vocals again! So I am really glad that after having listened to the new album of Scent of Death I realized I also have their debut full length, as it is also very, very good death metal album and all those, who like this music just must give it a listen.
Standout tracks: “Woven in the Book of Hate”, “A Thorn in the Forehead of God”, “Circles of Eternal Return”
SCENT OF DEATH from Spain hails with brutal death metal very much in the vein of newer MORBID ANGEL and maybe something like SUFFOCATION as well. It's hard to name more comparisons! How much can I get stuff like this before it bores me to death? Well, sometimes there just is a catch in there that refreshes things up in some crooked way, no matter how thick and casual this kind of music can be.
To the point: Scent of Death is an extremely skilled and technical group following the footprints of the bands mentioned earlier. The riffs themselves are not the most recognizable ones, but as they function with the polyrhythmic drums, great "not fat death metal singer dude" kinda growling vocals (hehe) and the desolate yet high-profile sounds themselves, the band proves to know what they're doing.
The drummer here is such an animal that he leaves no empty space for empty comments. He battles on amidst the songs doing his own thing. This is the main point I liked here. Another good aspect are the vocals. They have some higher pitch to emboss them from the mass. You can even discern a part of the words sung.
The guitarists here know diminished fifths and have studied their share of Trey Azaghtoth's mutilations. Still, they are the most faint part of this release, as they get a minimal role in this act woven in the book of hate. I mean, they are mean and rapid and brutal, but that's what we've heard since the early 90's and still hear, maybe too much.
To summarize, SCENT OF DEATH are bound under great skill and musical sense, yet they, as well as many others, fail to perfect their release in this category crammed full of bands of this kind. This is still quite enjoyable, thanks to the personality each of these players bring here. Absolutely worth of buying.