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Brutal and Ridiculous - 88%

andreipianoman, November 12th, 2020

Whenever I see a band labeled as technical brutal death metal, I hope that the technical side is more accentuated than the brutal side. Not to say that I dislike the brutal death metal component, but if overdone in an unprofessional way, it can drain the sound quality and musical relevance altogether. However, I am delighted to discover that the Mexican trio Serocs does a fantastic job at balancing the two. The upcoming EP “Vore” is a head-altering display of complex, technical virtuosity, driven to batter and pulverize the listener every step of the way.

The first thing to draw your attention is certainly the mayhem of it all. As soon as you hit “play”, you find yourself caught in a maelstrom of furious grinding blast-beats, punishing guitar riffage and filthy, guttural death growls of the nastiest sort. The high-octane of each track, blistering speed and corrosive texture of the sound are enough to get any pure death metal fan hooked. Brutality in its purest form! You just feel ambushed, and it will take a while to pull yourself together. But once you get past the initial shock and throw a closer ear to what is actually going on, it becomes clear that the energy is just one of many components that make these guys so exquisite in their craft.

The technical and unusual playing of every band member demonstrates unbelievable proficiency and musical knowledge. While the sound itself is quite typical to a good quality death metal album, the composition breaks all the patterns you can think of. There’s the strange sense of familiarity and confusion going on at the same time, as the sound textures I’m hearing are quite straightforward but the songs themselves are unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Through the ludicrous tempos, a strange approach to progressive song-writing makes its way through. As the speed and blasting maintains its presence throughout most of the run-time, it constantly shifts into different patterns, refusing to settle in any sense of stability. The constant morphing and transitioning is a real challenge to keep track of but it is simultaneously very satisfying and stimulating. Each new riff and rhythmic structure comes with a very well defined and clearly paced sense of groove, easily drawing you in before ripping it all apart again. The dynamic guitar playing forms a sense of movement and entropy that hardly ever ceases. The drum work constantly alternates between setting a foundation and leaping in the fore-front with flurries of cymbal work, transitioning and oddly shaped patterns that go through the entire kit withing seconds. In between, the bass always plays on its own, coming through with an aggressive, slapping sound that fully separates itself from the guitar riffs and allows it to build its own voice in the twister of abrasive sensations. But most surprisingly, while each instrument seems to be doing its own thing, they always do it in sync and end up coming together as a whole a lot better than I would expect from an album this complex.

Now bear in mind, this is a brutal death metal album so despite all the cohesiveness, flow and intricate structures, it is still the sheer energy and aggression that stays in the spotlight. While all the more subtle details in the composition constantly permeate the sound, it usually takes an active effort to pick up on them. Otherwise you might just be lost in amorphous chaos that constantly rearranges itself. It is not for the faint-hearted. But there is also a melodic aspect to it. A couple of guest solos, though mainly focused on shredding and speed, bring a very welcome change in frequency, allowing the soundscape to turn towards a more refined and polished substance. Add the fact that the third track, “Shallow Vaults” is a brief atmospheric interlude making use of clean guitars, and this release actually shapes out to stir some diversity.

“Vore” is nowhere near as monochrome as I initially expected, with each song finding ways to slightly differentiate itself from the previous. The addition of a couple of instrumental demos from back in 2011 completes the bill with a far more raw and primitive production sound but also less complexity and crammed details, allowing a bit more breath-space. When putting it all together, the bombardment of brutality and changing patterns is the centerpiece of their sound but it is delivered in an engaging form that keeps them on the track of musical relevance. I was filled with respect after just one listen. But that’s far from enough if you want to actually dissect the different moving pieces that come together in this record. So if you find yourself intrigued, go for round 2.

Originally written for The Metal Observer

Cracking the Pillars of the Crumbling Empires - 85%

faithlessasshole, September 13th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, Digital, Everlasting Spew Records

As the “dominant” species in the third rock from the sun, we humans have been in a constant struggle between keeping civilization going and creating our demise. Empires have raised and fall and our current society are speedily towards extinction. We are a zero-type civilization and the horizon looks blurry each day, leading us to be the virus, the cancer of earth. After the album “The Phobos and Deimos Suite” Serocs strikes once again the technical brutal death metal scene with an EP called Vore. This EP deals with the theme of humans as devourers of everything on the planet and us causing our obsolescence.

Seroc´s sound hasn´t changed much from their previous effort. The band keeps up with the blasting and technical brutality in the drums, fast and intricate riffing, techy bass lines, and horrendous guttural vocals. In my view, this EP serves as a way to perhaps include songs that were not into The Phobos and Deimos Suite for x or y reason and also as a teaser for what´s to come shortly. The production, writing style, and instrumental attack is kind of similar to previous efforts. The only thing I can say changed a bit was that the guitar passages are more melodic than before. Of course, without sacrificing aggression and technique.

Vore is composed of 7 tracks in which 2 previous versions of their 2011 demo were included (Nihilus and Anthropic). I have to say that the new versions of the demo songs are sounding brutal enough to justify their existence in this EP. By the way, those are instrumental versions, no vocal parts included. Anyways, let´s get into the other 5 songs. The EP opens with “Anthropic, this track starts with a short mysterious intro that quickly builds into the main riff, which is rhythmic, melodic, and catchy enough to keep your headbanging. The bass is prominent and pulsating, something that most of the time doesn´t happen in technical brutal death metal bands. The bass got buried into the mix and is just relegated to breakdowns and slow parts. Speaking of slow parts, there is only one moment to get your breath back in this EP; “Shallow Vaults” is a brief instrumental that bridges “Building a Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands” and “The Temple of Knowledge”. Apart from the small interlude, you will only find frantic blast beats and complex guitar sections. As I already mentioned, Vore is a demonstration of the inhuman technique in all the instruments, is not about showing off how fast they are or how brutal. It is about how coherent and cohesive are you with the concept you´re displaying. “To Self-Devour” closes the butchery consistently, keeping up with the melodic guitar moments along with the EP as well as with the technical parts shown in the bass and drums. This is by far my favorite song of Vore due to the leitmotif drawn in the guitars that makes that track catchy, labyrinthine, and aggressive. A perfect closure.

Concluding with my review, I just want to say that Serocs has been a very consistent act since the beginning of their career. Throwing competent material into the scene, this band takes their time to release smart music into a sub-genre that tends to be repetitive and sometimes dumb. So, folks is to time self-devour your brains and spin Vore, a very interesting and decent piece of technical brutal death metal from the band Serocs.

Serocs - Vore - 80%

TheMetalGamer, July 12th, 2020

Serocs was a band that many got to know in 2018 with their fourth full-length album The Phobos/Deimos Suite. The album crushed all competition in the genre and I myself had it high up on my yearly list and got the “brutal death metal album of the year” award. With that being said I was obviously stoked for their upcoming EP Vore. The album consists of seven tracks, where the two last tracks “Nihilus” and “Anthropic” are from a 2011 demo (“Nihilus” was featured in a new version on The Phobos/Deimos Suite, while the new “Anthropic” is the opener for Vore). So for an EP this is actually pretty sweet, close to a full-length I would say seeing the running time is over 26 minutes. The line-up has stayed mostly the same, with the big difference being that Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilist, First Fragment and Funebrarum) is not a full member any more like he was on The Phobos, but instead has helped as a session member with sick guitar solos on track two and additional songwriting on track one and five so he has been apart of almost half the album.

It starts of just like I’d hoped on the opener “Anthropic”, with some fast and heavy music that got killer technical riffs which they set the bar really high for on their last full-length. Gotta love those bass solos too! Need more of that in metal overall in my opinion. Following it up “Building A Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands” comes on, the single I quickly fell in love with and made me pre-order the album. This is also were Phil Tougas comes in with wicked solos. This is Serocs at its peak and it’s one of the best songs that will be released this year. If you don’t just go ape-shit over that solo half-way into the song then I don’t know if you even like guitars! It’s close to a perfect track in this style. After a short breather with the instrumental tune “Shallow Vaults” it’s time for another previously released single in “The Temple of Knowledge”. The track is a bit slower paced than the first two were but still packs a punch that will sucker punch you if you’re not ready for it. “To Self Devour” has some nice hooks to it but that song doesn’t really connect with me at first. I feel they might have strayed away from their sound a bit too much on the start of that song until it, around 1/3 in, ramps up where I then feel at home again and it ends on a high note. Then we have the two demo tracks. I could have lived without them in all honesty but at the same time it’s actually really fun to hear how two instrumental songs can turn into something quite different on the end results. The blueprints they used did eventually turn into two killer songs after all.

As it usually is with a good EP it’s over way too fast. Vore is another great piece in the Serocs discography and while it didn’t blow me away like The Phobos/Deimos Suite did (which I consider being one of the best brutal death metal albums of the decade) it’s superb musicianship by a very hungry band. Vore has some real highs but it isn’t near the same overall level however it showcase different sides of Serocs that fans can appreciate. I do miss having Phil Tougas on guitar on the whole album that’s for sure, but Serocs is all about quality and do extremely well on their own anyway it has to be said. Serocs is a band everyone should know by now, if you don’t Vore is a great place to start your journey before jumping on their masterpiece The Phobos/Deimos Suite.

Originally written for The Metal Gamer