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Determination - Symbiosis

by Kayla Hutton at 10 April 2018, 6:49 AM

DETERMINATION, a Death Metal band hailing from Rostock, Germany just released their first full-length album, “Symbiosis”, via STF Records in March 2018. Founded in 2013 as a recording project DETERMINATION independently released the E.P. “Vision” in 2014. The success of “Vision” and live shows proved that DETERMINATION is more than just a recording project.

“Wareligion” was the first track to really seize my attention with a bass sound that demonstrates a skill set reminiscent of Steve DiGiorgio (SADUS, DEATH) being the first bassist to use a fretless bass in the genre of extreme technical metal. It’s a very well-defined sound and speaks volumes for Rouven’s accomplishment as a musician choosing to play this style of instrument. Towards the end of “Wareligion” the distortion and brutality is stripped away and after the smoke clears a melodic instrumental with causal factors of jazz and prog emerge. Correspondent to the experimentation demonstrated by ATHIEST and CYNIC, the moment of “wow these guys know their stuff” was followed up with the onslaught of stomp on the distortion pedal, lay into the blast beat and bring on the signature low growl. How it all comes in you get the feeling as if you were hit by a freight train, and that is the expected kind of savagery you get when standing on train tracks.

“Parasite”, the albums 4th track also impresses with some drumming that only few can maintain. It really makes you second guess yourself in the way Gene Hogland did when he first hit the scene. Faster than a machine gun with 100% accuracy your first assumption would be that its a drum machine because no human can play that technical and that rapid at the same time. Of course, now I have to buy the concert ticket to witness this in person to concrete in mind that it’s no machine, it’s a human giving the machine a run for its money.

At the mid-point of “Symbiosis“ is the track “Slavery” which really shows off the distinctive fretless bass sound. This is the albums strongest moment. A true statement demonstrating DETERMINATION’S ability. The keyboards provide an ambiance and set the tone while not being directly in the forefront. Overlapping the bass and keyboards are the guitars and drums with billowing choppy stabs and rapid-fire palm mutes that are on time, off time, and then come back around on time. There is something about returning to the start without error that tricks your brain and gives a little thrill as what you were expecting, didn’t happen and what did happen sounded so grand it would make even the most metal of metal head smile with delight.

DETERMINATION have displayed that they are truly talented and have spent a lot of time acquainting themselves with their instruments. The downside is that overall this album is somewhat monotonous. Given their diversity and ability, it really made me wonder why at some points it was difficult to differentiate one track from the other. Do take into consideration the bands newness and that “Symbiosis” is their 1st full-length release. I think what I am witnessing is their evolution in action. As they spend more time together they will continue to push the boundaries and in time they will broaden their sound to match their capability and really define themselves. DETERMINATION has a great sound and I will definitely be keeping an eye and ear out for what they release next. Everyone has to crawl before they walk, and with the effort DETERMINATION has put forth and when they do walk their footsteps will likely lead them down a path full of innovative fusion that has never been heard.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Beginning
2. Wareligion
3. Vision
4. Parasite
5. The Shadow
6. Slavery
7. Pestilence
8. X-Rays
9. The End
Christian Reimer – Vocals
Diemo Heuer – Guitar
Martin Preising – Drums
Oliver Lusga – Guitar
Rouven Haliti – Fretless Bass
Record Label: STF Records


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