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My only other major experience with Hungarian death metal is brutal death average Joes from Budapest, Kill With Hate. Also from Budapest and also bearing a pretty yawnsome band name are Sin of God, who are actually my current hot tip for brutal Hungarian death metal.
Sin of God rampage through somewhat grind-inspired technical death metal songs, merrily piling in frantic, twiddling Eastern riffs and thick-as-fudge breakdowns from the book of Suffocation. There's a fair bit of Egyptian or at least Eastern influence from the outset, with a very Nile-ish intro and interludes. However, since Nile completely screwed the pooch with their latest, I've got a space in my heart that needs a -fillin'. Sin of God provide a pretty effective mid-to-long-term fix if yer after unsympathetic and exoticism-tinged death technicality that isn't too by the numbers. It's pretty limber. Heh.
Though he isn't rampantly inventive, drummer Botyánszki Balázs is pretty much what you want out of a technical death metal drummer when shunning the genre's jazzier inclinations. Punishing blast beats and rattling cymbals galore are the order of the day as Bot comfortably follows thuggish breakdowns and squealing solos with appropriately aggressive treatment of his kit. He'd probably be a treat live. Vocalist Páll László provides a spit-flecked din of deep growls and more deep growls - again, innovation is oft left by the wayside, but competence is prized.
Something that might endear these chaps to the Niled out death head is their to-the-point brevity - no time is wasted getting in with a hyperactive song like 'Kill the Irreligious', chucking in a bunch of double bass or chugging to break up the whining tremolo riffs, chucking in the kitchen sink, and then usually getting the hell out inside of under four minutes. These chaps don't allow high-minded concepts to lure them into the placid epics so despised by detractors of albums like Those Whom the Gods Detest. Highlights include that opening trio of bruisers, though nice riffs are wont to pick up throughout. Longer longs like 'Bloodlust' and 'Yearn of Lesions' venture into some atmospheric slow moments that sound pretty nice - the latter with some very bleak tremolos making an appearance. More of this sort of nihilism and we're onto a winner. A lowlight includes the arpeggio-centric motifs of 'The Violator'. When will bands learn that arpeggios prove nothing and are irritating as fuck to me?
Anyway. There's little to pull these guys up on in general however - their instrumental ability is there, as is a certain personality lent by the rather more brutal and simple-minded adoption of certain mystical musings familiar to the brutal/ technical death metal crowd, and there's little reason that with some screws tightened here and motors revved there they might not become a sort of Hungarian Hour of Penance some day.
Sin of God are a technical death metal group that have been around since 2004, and have formerly released a couple of demos earlier in their career and an independent EP, Satan Embryo, in 2010. The band underwent a line-up change in 2011, replacing both guitarists, vocalist, bassist and leaving drummer Botyánszki Balázs as the sole remaining founding member. Now, picked up by PRC Music, Sin of God have released their long awaited debut full-length album, Limbus. What do these newcomers have to offer?
Like a brick being hurled at ones face, the first thing that most listeners will notice about Limbus is the abundant Egyptian atmosphere that shrouds the content from beginning to end. This tone is emphasized throughout the album, namely in tracks "Intro / Limbus" and "Your Sacrifice's Day", by the incorporation of clean, vibrantly twangy guitars, tolling bells, synthesized elements and tribal style drumming. Combine these ingredients with gritty production, fuzzy vocals, heavy riffage, technical bits and Egyptian lyrical themes and you have yourself a record heftily laden with an unmistakable Nile influence.
What Sin of God have thoroughly accomplished within this debut release is showing that they, as a whole, possess not only instrument talent but also the song writing prowess it takes to progress as a band. Each track on Limbus is carefully structured to always maintain the attention of the audience, this is artfully done by having the vocals and guitars playing off of each other, along with the drums and guitars working together. For example, a few tracks have the vocals following an ascending/descending patterned guitar riff and the vocals themselves change octaves to correspond with the guitar work. The drums tend to speed up in tempo and add in double bass beats during tremolo picked solos, or oppositely gaining speed while the guitars slow down to a chugging riff.
However, while all of these components fit together nicely, it's a real shame to have to say that there is a severe lack of originality present. Some of the song structures are quite fun, "Bloodlust", "The Violator", "Demonshrine", "Endless Desert", "Yarn of Lesions" and "Seeds ov Death and Pain" will all have the listener banging their head along to the beats, but everything here has been done and heard before; mostly from Nile. The production quality present gives a gritty flavor to the uniquely toned guitars, but it also muddles the already overly distorted vocals. The mixing values also change throughout the album, such as in "Endless Desert" where the drums completely consume the rest of the instruments. Occasionally the bass line does rise to an audible level, but whenever it does the tuning is so low that the listener can hear how loose the string being played is, such as in "Bloodlust".
There are definitely some issues that need refining for Sin of God come their next album, but comprehensively Limbus is a decent effort for a debut album. It's fun to listen to, entices head banging, and is brutally heavy both instrumentally and vocally. Though this release does suffer considerably from a lack of original sound and ideas, Sin of God do incorporate some slight satanic elements lyrically and the content feels rather dark and evil, as it was intended to. Recommended for fans of Nile and Aeternam, or technical death metal enthusiasts looking for some fresh meat.
Digital Download by: PRC Music
- Villi Thorne