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Very overrated, very mediocre.... - 50%

dismember_marcin, January 23rd, 2018

Anyone wonders what one of the most expensive death metal albums is like? For some reason Sororicide's "The Entity" has become one of most expensive CDs / LPs and the prices it reached on Ebay or Discogs went far beyond common sense. Some people went crazy and decided to pay big money for it. But personally, I cannot understand why. For me personally, the music on this album is nothing special and definitely it's not worth a thousand fuckin bucks! Just the fact that it's rare doesn't mean it's worth that much money! I don't care what people do with their dollars, if someone wanted to show off and spend his month's wages on this album, then it's his stupidity, not mine. So, personally I'm just happy with the fuckin bootleg, which not only contains "The Entity" album, but also some other recordings of Sororicide. I got a decent quality boot and can keep 1000 dollars in my pocket.

But seriously, speaking of the demanded value of the original press against its music quality, I think this is an incredibly overrated album. For me it hardly deserves the praise it often receives, what confirms my theory is that words like "classic" and "cult" have no meaning nowadays, because they're used to describe even such mediocre and even weak records as this. For some people it's enough if the album was released in the early 90's to call it "cult". What bullshit. I don't want to say that "The Entity" is not a pile of useless garbage, because it's not. But it's not an album which will give you a big erection and powerful kick in the head. Sororicide sounds weak here and more like a miserable school metal band, which hardly learned to play the instruments. But they try to play their death metal and you can even hear that they have some good ideas, some nice riffs... but it doesn't save the overall quality of the album.

When listening to "The Entity" I can't help but notice rather sloppy playing from these young dudes and primitiveness of this album. Their guitar solos beg for being erased immediately. And too often it all just sounds messy and poor, especially that some riffs were meant to sound more twisted and the music is filled with tempo variations or very diverse parts. Definitely the best part of "The Entity" is when the music is slower and surprisingly I can admit that Sororicide did come up with some pretty damn good melodic riffs. Songs like "Frightmares" and "Old" are the most interesting and I can say that I like them. You would not exaggerate, if you compare them to the classic Swedish death metal scene and bands like Crypt of Kerberos ad such. "Frightmares" is surely also very influenced by early Paradise Lost, I do like how they create darker and more sorrowful atmosphere there. "Redrum" is another very good song. But when played in faster tempos, the music becomes less and less interesting and it turns out that there's a whole bunch of mediocre or even weak songs that bore me to death. Sometimes it just becomes irritating, especially with the weak, monotonous vocals of Bogi Reynisson, who sound like a poorer version of Nick Holmes (oh, and these terrible lyrics... damn, what crap they are!). The production of "The Entity" is also very thin and only underlines that whole primitive and uninspiring character of this record. So, as I mentioned, at best I can pick up few good songs, some great fragments... but as a whole, this album is hardly ever impressive.

This bootleg offers also some bonus tracks, which is a cool idea. There are songs from "Apocalypse" split CD (which Sororicide did with other Icelandic bands: (Strigaskór Nr. 42 and In Memoriam) from 1992 and the split CD with Chorus of Ruin (1993). Songs from "Apocalypse" sound like the best stuff which Sororicide has recorded, I can admit that the production is better and heavier, but the music also improved. On the other hand I don't quite like these two tracks from the split with Chorus of Ruin. They're just boring. Sooooo, that's all I have to say about Sororicide. I am happy to discuss the "cult" status of "The Entity", but I won't change my mind... This IS a mediocre album, not worth the money. Don't waste them, but if you really need to have it in your collection, get yourself this bootleg, because it's pretty well done and the whole presentation and quality is very good.

Standout tracks: "Frightmares", "Old", "Life Below"
Verdict: 50/100

An Enduring Entity - 90%

Marcus Blue Wolf, December 13th, 2016

Ah, Sororicide. Where to even begin?

I've always had a vested interest in this little piece of Icelandic death metal for a few reasons. One, both original formats of this release are, as far as many collectors/fans/cultists etc are concerned, the most expensive you'll ever (or never) see on sale in this genre. Two, this album stands out somewhat from the rest of the Scandinavian death metal scene. And three, very little information is available about the band or label even now. So now, a full 25 years on from its original release, I'm sitting down to write a review of arguably one of the most unique and sought after death metal albums that saw the light of day.

The first thing I notice about this album upon listening is how there is more variation in the tempo and speed of the songs; compared to what most of the Swedish/Finnish death metal scene, or the Floridian scene has to offer. This helps give a very listenable healthy mix of occasional high tempo riffing and blast beats, as well as eerie melancholic melodies that add a layer of doom/progressive sound to the overall atmosphere. An upside, no doubt in part due to how easy the songs are to distinguish from another, which is something a lot of bands seem to have difficulty with to this day. I can quite happily crank this album on knowing I won't lose track of the current track playing or get the feeling of deja vu halfway through the album.

Production wise, this album is a little thinner in sound than the cliche 90's death metal album, although this is not surprising; considering how isolated the Icelandic metal scene was/is compared to the rest of the world. This slightly thinner production in my opinion gives it a little bit more overall listenability compared to other bands such as Entombed, Carnage, Dismember et al, which utilised the standard raw and brutal sound of the drums coupled with the buzz saw guitars. Sororicide haven't sacrificed too much of the raw sound at least, but you may find yourself turning it up a few notches more than more well known death metal groups. On the plus side of this however, the bass is surprisingly audible throughout the entire album, which in all fairness makes up for the less compressed sound the producer gave this album, albeit sacrificing some of the "old school brutality" a lot of other bands are known for bringing to the table.

On a note I find rather interesting, the band, lyrically at least, has taken a somewhat political and psychological stance in their message; lamenting individual and existential global crises, over rotting corpses and smashing up 300 year old tombstones. A quarter of a century later, the lyrical themes of "Human Recycling", "Anger of the Inferior" and "Withered Earth", describe global scenarios of decline which are sadly more applicable than ever in the current climate.

To sum up the quality of the songwriting, it's decent, straightforward, and to the point, but not simple enough as to where the album becomes a bore, far from it. Every once in a while they add a good, if a little brief, solo, not forgetting the progressive eerie passages and instrumental that change the mood and atmosphere of the album from angry to melancholy very effectively.

Having wanted this album for a couple of years, and after selling my original vinyl LP copy, I picked up the CD bootleg compilation that includes the tracks from their Apocalypse and Godlike/Last Dance splits, which give a good hint at where the band would have headed creatively had they continued for longer. Would I recommend this album? In a fucking heartbeat, yes, I would. Would I pay over $1000 USD for an original copy? Fuck no. Is this an all time masterpiece? Not really, but it's very enjoyable. Sadly, a re-release of this album looks unlikely in the future because apparently the band don't want it to have a repress, so for new listeners I can only suggest YouTube or going for one of the unofficial bootlegs, but I'll be happy if it ever does get a well deserved repress.

Final rating:

The darkest of death metal - 95%

Lord Tempestuous, March 23rd, 2016

Released in late 1991, Sororcide’s The Entity, like much of the black metal to come, uses atmosphere to envelop the listener in a microcosm of sound. As a result, it remains one of the darkest interpretations of death metal yet conceived, comparable in its darkened cosmic epiphanies to such void channellers as Cenotaph, Infester, Timeghoul, Imprecation and Abhorrence.

The Entity channels the dystopian, urban drones of Godflesh but filtered through the full weave of the then burgeoning and codifying death metal language. Twisted riffs similar to the backwards codes of Dawn of Possession erupt from the fatalist doom of the dirge passages on Cause of Death. Abrupt, palm muted interruptions form the basic notes of horror movies, punctuating slow unsteady riffs with the whiff of impending fright. Power chord ladders, ever descending, remind of Onward to Golgotha (though released but a few months before) they follow a breadcrumb trail into darker passage ways before being dissolved by swift jumbled phrases. Melodies creak with death, slowly, patiently, suffocatingly, they slither, until bursting forth into fulfilled horror and past it, into a dark enlightenment shaped by unrelenting terror. Vocals with an almost disembodied death growl, impassively narrate an impending fate. Solos appear, though they are largely short lived, they remind of the pattern of thoughts on LSD where conclusions can come to mind before the processes which formed them make themselves apparent.

Songs are simply structured and comprised of few riffs; their placement comprises a journey through the dark which ascends the sum of its parts and is evocative all the same. Here we see all the horrors of the urban night, told through the guise of monsters and revenants. The decaying abandoned structures, the unnatural flickering glare of neglected streetlights casting decrepit shadows on the sea of concrete, the hopeless, dangerous desolation of the most forsaken slums. The doom that we so eagerly ignore during the day is seen more readily in the urban night, here told through the mythic guise of the Entity, who paralyzes with fear; his thrall, we lapse in slumber and into the uncertainty of dream.

If there is a flaw here, it is that the second half of the album seems to be comprised of seemingly less involved songs rather than the more fleshed out narratives of the previous. They feel incomplete, thoughts that have been so travailed by terror as to be an inch away from coherency. This second half is decidedly less dark, and more assertive, like trying to fight through rote force of will out of madness. Solos burst forth suddenly with unrestrained sovereignty, exploring more chaotic and dissonant crevices, bold at first but quick to dissolve into rambling like failed attempts at breaking free of the prison of broken dreams, perilous burnouts and urban waste.

When combined with albums like The Gloomy Reflection of Our Hidden Sorrows, To the Depths of Degradation Theurgia Goetia Summa and Tumultuous Travelings it becomes apparent that a strain of atmospheric death metal was at the cusp of forming but never quite congealed itself. The potential it seems, remains untapped to this day with many of today’s more atmospheric death metal bands only able to evoke a vague sense of darkness through tones and repetition and not the inner workings that make these albums an experience. If death metal is an art, Sororicide were one of its top practitioners, though the limited other material by the band has proven to be unable of recapturing the same spirit as this endeavor.

An Enticing Entity - 97%

ResidualCod, October 11th, 2008

It's gems like Sororicide's The Entity that make me the avid death metal junkie that I am. To the outsider, death metal may seem like it was a genre with no room for uniqueness or creativity, which is understandable considering how atrocious and generic it collectively has become, but those who care enough to dig into the genre and look for those albums that really stick out amongst the rest know what a great form of music it once was. The Entity is really one of those unqiue, stand out albums. It may be partially due to the fact that the band was from Iceland, so it is not like they had a lot of local influences to draw ideas from. They just played and wrote the way they naturally felt they should.

One of the things I really love about this album is the use of dissonance and the bizarre melodies and counter melodies sprinkled throughout. It really adds to the intensity of the slower sections. The riffing and song writing in general are just spectacular. The bass mostly follows along with the guitars, but sometimes will go off into its own dissonant riff while a discordant guitar melody is overlapping, which is another unique feature. The vocals are a gut-wrenching mid range growl and are just as powerful and eerie as everything else about this album. Everything is just perfect.

This album is a highly original and unique masterpiece. It is one of my all time favorite death metal albums. Highly, highly recommended.

Unique death metal gem from Iceland - 95%

natrix, December 28th, 2005

I wasn't expecting this to kick as much ass as it does, as I was more curious as to what the farthest reaches of Scandinavia had to offer as far as vintage death metal. Surprisingly, this four piece from the windy city of Reykjavik churned out an original piece of death metal on this, their debut and swansong.

Okay, Iceland is part of Scandinavia, but it is pretty damn isolated from the rest of the world. You'd assume, however, that this would have some of the defining elements of Swedish death metal, or maybe Norweigian black metal, but Sororicide is something entirely different. Owe it to geographical isolation or whatever, but this band was a real breath of fresh air to a pretty jaded old school death metal fan like myself.

Their sound seems to be heavily influenced by early Immolation, with various squeals and dissonant guitar passages over a churning mass of ugly and dark riffs. Imagine Dawn of Possession, slowed down and less technical. I would almost say that there is an Unleashed influence in the relative simplicity of the songs, perhaps a Leprosy-era Death in the palm muted riffs, but Sororicide sounds nothing like Unleashed or Death. The absolute closest thing to which I can compare this would be The Chasm's debut album, Procreation of the Inner Temple, in terms of use of weird ideas, and production. But once again, it's NOT a clear comparison.

The vocals do recall a bit of Immolation, but perhaps with a touch of Kam Lee's inhuman roar. Very inhuman, dark, and nearly incomprehensible. I'm not sure if they're 100% natural, or are processed, but they're nice.

Clean guitars are employed here and there, serving to break up the constant wash of churning riffs. These are not sweeping melodic passages, but rather really desolate sounding, simple riffs. There are a few melodies, simple, dissodant chords that are picked in a simple manner, but to great effect. Each of these melodies is not your typical Gothenburg melancholy riff--it is dark, unholy, and the absolute most extreme expression of depression that one can hear on a metal album. Even the best black metal bands were not as effective at conveying a sense of despair, hopelessness and darkness.

The bass is...well, it's there. Somewhere behind the wall of heaviness. Nothing ventured, but honestly, for this music, there is something wonderful in its simplicity. He's no Steve Digiorgio, but luckily he's no Jeff Estes (Nocturnus) either.

Drums sound down tuned, kind of muddy and depressing. In other words, a perfect backbone to the other elements of the band. The drummer's not too technical either, and doesn't use a lot of fills, but throws in a few really strange beats. Listen to the main riff in "Blind," for one hell of a strange beat. A lot of times he uses the typical pitter-patter double bass that I so love in Candlemass, under the slow, pounding riffs. It's kind of the opposite of most death metal bands, where the guitars go warp speed and the drums are a bit slower. Here, the drums go double time to the guitar quite often.

Sororicide play it best at slow to midpaced, and not surprisingly, most of this album is composed of said material. In a few parts they pick it up to a galloping beat, even venturing into skank beats in a few key moments, but always with taste and skill. These guys knew where their skills lay, and played in those bounds. Still, I'm a guy who prefers more midpaced crunch to blazing speed (Krisiun bores me to death), so I relish this album quite a bit.

For probably being the only death metal band in Iceland at the time, it's no surprise that the production is pretty bad. Still, there is a certain charm in it, as it doesn't really destroy the worth of any of the instruments, and it adds to the dark feel of the album.

Then there's one really sore spot: the solos. When it comes to lead guitar, these guys don't know shit from shinola. Deicide did it better on their first album with those absolutely horrible, out of tune solos. On here, the same formula is reproduced; out of tune, manic and in general, a mess. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE insane soloing, especially when it sounds fucked up and even a bit out of place, but these lack a lot of power, either due to production or just being out of touch with their instruments. There is one solo moment where they almost sound like they're playing the lead break from Death's "Pull the Plug," but just horribly wrong. Luckily, this is a real minor problem when the rest of the album is so good.

So apart from the solos, there's nothing I dislike about this album. A shame that it is impossible to find, because it goes to show that there are some really unique pieces of death metal out there, still waiting in the shadows.

To sum it up: this is a thoroughly enjoyable album for fans of really heavy death metal played with originality and dark atmosphere. If you think you've heard it all, give Sororicide a chance. They play death metal with a dark atmosphere that no other band can create with a billion keyboards.