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Symbolyc - Engraved Flesh - 90%

Edmund Sackbauer, September 22nd, 2019
Written based on this version: 2009, CD, My Kingdom Music

Always on the hunt for another gem that might have gone under my radar because of the never ending stream of new releases I stumbled upon this tidy little death metal package released by My Kingdom Music in 2008. So far “Engraved Flesh” has been the only full length by this Italian outfit and while the wheel has not been reinvented once again this album is a nice find for any fan of straight death metal.

Overall the style of Symbolyc is a bit closer to the US peers than to their European counterparts although the band name the Polish scene as one of their main influences. The riffing is a bit tighter and the basis chords vary between the traditional stoic chops and a more thrashy and uplifting style. The interplay between the riffs and the lead parts are especially impressive. There are not too many really long and drawn-out solo sections. Instead these melodic interludes are cleverly used as bridges between various parts of one song and often act as transition from faster and more aggressive sections to calmer and groovier pieces.

Symbolyc understood that passive listeners are mainly looking for interesting and cohesive songs and not in different complex pieces of instrumentation just strung together. The songwriting is on point and the flow of the album is great with a perfect placement of the single tracks. There is not one moment of dullness or boredom and the whole record feels like a very stringent piece of music. The drumming is brutal and sometimes slightly technical yet there are enough groovy parts thrown into the mix to keep things fresh and steady.

The growling is deep and powerful perfectly fitting to the instrumentation. Despite the aggressiveness of the vocals each word can be easily understood which is something I always like when listening to death metal.

The production is powerful without sounding too modern or sterile. There is a certain level of rawness and filthiness left without sacrificing the clarity of the mix. Each instrument can be heard and even the bass gets a few moments to shine. Rounded off by a nice looking cover artwork “Engraved Flesh” is a great piece of old school death metal for fans of bands like Monstrosity, Vader or Sinister and therefore highly recommended.