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LUDUS CARTORUM - 80%

HUGODARTH, December 7th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, Independent (Digipak)

As I commented in some of my previous reviews, I'm a fan of the Polish extreme metal scene, so in my vain attempt of being always updated with every new release and band that comes out, sometimes I don't spend enough time listening to the not so easy-to-digest albums. Ludus Cartorum is a good example of this mistake of mine. Some years ago I checked out this album and the first impression I had wasn't good at all. The first song is very different than the rest ones... clean female vocals and very simple rythmic base made me believe that this band was some kind of Evanescense crap with double bass drum. But I couldn't be more wrong... By coincidence I found this album again, and I gave it a new try. Yes sir! This is Polish death metal at its best! Fast, brutal and merciless, the way Poles are used to play.

Something impossible to ignore and that creates some kind of expectation is that the band is promoted as "death metal with a female singer". Well, that wouldn't be something new or surprising if it wasn't for the fact that this girl is a magnificent beast! While women's guttural vocals are in most of the bands quite easy to recognize (I'm not saying that this is something good or bad, it's just different, there's no sexist bullcrap in my comment), in this case this girl called Aklu can be compared to any of the most powerful growlers out there, and would probably kick most of their asses too with her deep and powerful grunts. There are some passages where she also employs clean vocals, which also sounds quite good. So yes, the singer is the highlight of the album. A really impressive performance!

Ludus Cartorum is a very good album. The songs are in general really fast, with lethal guitars that execute some extremely good riffs and with super fast drumming that most of the time hits hard with blast beats. But not everything is about brutality, mid-tempo and doomish atmospheres are most of the times well placed and help taking a deep breath to go on with the massacre. Well, there's not much more to say. Each instrument does a very good job and can be perfectly heard because of the correct production and mix of the album. To point out something negative, nothing is really innovative or fantastic, it's just well played standard death metal. It's also true that some songs are a little boring or make the listener expect some catchy or killer riff that never comes...

No idea why Sinful Souls don't have the popularity they deserve, but in my opinion is a really interesting band with a lot of potential. Maybe after they next release they'll achieve more recognition. So let's hope it's already on the way... Cheers!