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Sämtliche Werke - 50%

Spatupon, April 6th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2008, CD, Independent (DVD case)

Tajikistan is a rather peculiar and obscure country. Most people wouldn't be able to point it out on a map, and the country ranks as one of the most corrupt and least developed nations on earth. Throughout most of the 1990s, the country was embroiled in a civil war, and since then, it has been ruled as an autocracy by a dictator. The metal scene in most of central-asia is extremely thin. The combination of censorship and general economic poverty do not exactly provide a fertile ground for a healthy metal scene to flourish. Nonetheless, there are several metal bands operating within this small nation.

Spawn of the Matriarch have only released one extended-play and a compilation. Since I couldn't get my hands on the original EP, I decided to simply check the compilation out. This release is quite long and contains a healthy amount of tracks. After hearing the few first tracks, I was left a little bumfuzzled at the overall concept of this band. Honestly, they do not really have one certain sound and a certain common theme, except for the brooding pace at which it progresses. The production is one of the main drawbacks of this release. It becomes fairly obvious that most tracks on this compilation were not re-recorded or remastered so this release is basically an accumulation of pre-recorded material unadulterated from subsequent editing. The band members clearly have some pretty progressive ideas in terms of songwriting but unfortunately, in order for their ideas to hit their mark and leave their impact, a necessary level of audio-fidelity is required. There are certain moments where the guitarist is playing some pretty interesting riffs that get completely drowned out by the vocals and the drums. Another issue I have with this release is the mixing of the synthesizers and keyboards. These aforementioned couple of instruments are quite tricky to incorporate into metal correctly, and these guys do it just fine, but unfortunately, they can barely ever be heard.

The vocalist is quite adept at what he does. He has a very interesting variety in his voice, utilizing shrieks, growls and clean vocals as the case may require. What bothered be about the vocals in general, however, is that they are mixed too damn high and most of the time become extremely overbearing on the entire experience. The bass guitar is simply stellar and is mostly mixed well. Most songs on here are of a death/doom nature, however the band does tend to venture into more black metal and drone territory at times. There is also definitely a certain element of Jazz/Improvisation influences since the guitarist does enjoy drifting off into nice little shred pieces here and there.

In conclusion, this release is a nice little release for such an obscure band. They clearly have the potential of making some more interesting music, but I doubt we will be hearing anything new anytime soon. The music on this compilation gives off the impression that the band clearly had some pretty strong ideas about writing good, non-conformist music, but their perfect execution was only cut-short by the awful production quality.