Glasgow’s FROM SORROW TO SERENITY arrive with their debut album, Remnant of Humanity, and by all counts it is the biggest Technical Death Metal album to hit the scene in a while.
Kicking off with Lost Our Way, this is beautifully progressive, and an amazing open to this album. This is one of the best things to come out of Glasgow’s metal scene for a long time. Impressive does not cover it. The beats are phenomenal, the production on the tracks here are something else. It’s full, thick and lithe, easily developing from one tone to another as the song expands. Equally, Hellbound has that drive and emotion that comes from the Metal giants, but the forward thinking and progressive elements that only fresh eyes can conjure. The roars and that melody that follows if something familiar, but the best things about FROM SORROW TO SERENITY is their ability to make a tune that has influences from the scene itself but never steals or mimics. Its brutal music that will make you feel a little like you’ve been packed down and beaten to the lowest version of yourself, only to drag you out again and smash your brains in. proper, heavy, Technical Metal. Forsaken makes you feel just that. Like you’ve been left out high and dry, with only the chanting and the hard-line of the guitar riffs to carry you through. The distortion of the bass and rhythm, accompanied by the singing guitars and battering of drums, the churning creates a track that’s a lot of fun to listen to, and will be even more fun with a group at a gig.
The more technical elements of Break The Mould are subtle, they underlying beneath the relentless and very impressive drumming from Kieran Smith. A little bit of CROSSFAITH lies in there, and the differing vocal styles and tones utilised here is not only fitting to the feeling of the song, but actually adds more dimension. This should always been a key feature in technical metal, what can every element of the band be doing to create the most fulfilled track. The same can be said of Illusive, which bring together a brilliant rhythm section that just allows the guitars to overlay a melody that breaches the dark, and brings forward the beautiful rise and fall of the riffs. The Divide will have the opposite effect on you to the tittle- everyone should be sold on this beast of a track. The riffs are gnarly, the drums relentless, the bassline so low that this almost hurts. Vocally, it’s burning, you can feel the energy pouring from the whole band. Truly be warned, the mountainous thrash of the whole track, the beat down your ears will receive will be blissfully brutal.
Attrition is brooding, with a more ancient feel to the guitar work. It’s like a little slice of the past, of the dark that once was, before the onslaught of Nescient mutilates your entire perspective on technical metal. There is a relentlessness to this music that almost feels like Thrash or Hardcore, but in truth this is simply Technical Metal done to the absolute extremes. Props have to be given to producer Will Putney (SUICIDE SILENCE, NORTHLANE, THY ART IS MURDER, THE ACACIA STRAIN) for mastering this absolute stonker of an album. It’s also worth mentioning that the band have brought on board CJ McMahon (THY ART IS MURDER), Aaron Matts (BETRAYING THE MARTYRS) and Scott Kennedy (BLEED FROM WITHIN) as vocal guest performers. To have talent the likes of these on such an early album in the bands career can only mean good things for FROM SORROW TO SERENITY.
Prosthetic Eyes is another huge song with many aspects that are unique to the bands own sound. The slow build, the gnashing vocals and the more synth-electronic aspects make this yet another musically diverse track, which is impressive. Perhaps the unyielding nature of the music makes this feel like the least unique of the tracks, but it’s still a solid track.
There are elements of BLEED FROM WITHIN and HEART OF A COWARD here, but only in so far as it’s the same composure of certain songs. It’s not a bad thing by any means, in fact it’s nice to see slight parts of other bands coming forth in the music they inspire. And thank goodness for it, because this album is absolutely astounding.
Coming towards the latter end of this record, In Time is more thoughtful, the softer playing allows for a small breath between the songs, and this interlude before what comes next is perfect. “What comes next” is in fact the phenomenal The Way Back. Mental is not the word for how this track opens, and what a track it is. For something as charged with anger and blistering unremittingness, the intensity just goes up to another level. It’s not a track that relies to the same old tricks or repetition to keep you hooked, it looks simply on the ingenuity of the bands high energy and emotional momentum to leave the listener astounded, and possibly a little bit blown away.
Remnant of Humanity essentially feels like a concept of loss, of brokenness and devolution has been fully realised in musical form. The independent aspects of the band- drums, bass, vocals and guitars- are all highly charged and at the top of their game, and even more so as a collective. There is obviously room for the sound to develop, but essentially this is as good as hard hitting Technical Metal can get. With Technical music, there is a side that comes from innovation and a part that comes with time. The band have the first part down with unnatural ease, and the latter part is definitely developing. It’s surely only a matter of time until FROM SORROW TO SERENITY are a household name for any Technical Metal fans.
Remnant of Humanity is set for release on April 22nd.
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