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Mental Torment – Ego:Genesis

Mental Torment
by Santiago Puyol at 11 January 2022, 5:29 PM

Coming from Kyiv, Ukraine, Death/Doom Metallers MENTAL TORMENT released their second record "Ego:Genesis", last September 29th 2021, following the release of 2013’s "On The Verge…". This 7-track album offers a little over 50 minutes of dense, deeply melodic and droning Death/Doom, steering a bit closer to Doom for the most part, infused with some Prog and Post-Metal/Rock sensibilities.

Soft ambience and dramatic piano chords begin the record. "Acceptance" manages to feel both theatrical and melancholic in its atmosphere, while vicious growls bring the heaviness with them. Mykhailo Chuha and Anatolii Doroshenko contribute some gorgeous guitar work, melodic yet droning. The band plays around with triplets, adding a shuffling feel to the time signature, making things a bit more diverse in a rather monotonous, slow-paced track, pretty much traditional Doom Metal. Things get a bit more fast-paced towards the end, adding some necessary contrast to the weighty sluggish sections. It ends on a subdue note.

"New Days Old Wounds" comes next, another track with a soft, melodic and sorrowful intro, anchored on a lone guitar and some ambience. Another guitar picks up, putting this in clear Doom territory, even if there’s still an element evocative of Post-Rock in there. Some beautiful soloing by Chuha in this song, very tasteful and nostalgic. A few spoken word samples, a trick MENTAL TORMENT uses a few times here, truly help building an atmosphere. A track with smooth transitions that builds into a massive, explosive crescendo.

Heavy synth layering and vaguely ominous melodies welcome the listener on "Untitled". It takes almost three minutes for the vocals to finally enter. Roman Sagajdachnyj shows some of his range behind deep growling, even if the mix pushes him to the background. The final section of the track even has a bit of a Gothic feel, another element that makes a return in a couple spots of the record.

"Conclusion" has some BLACK SABBATH-like guitar on the verses, at least on the first section of the song. The band pays homage to classic Doom even if it mixes enough of their own personality, and some Jazz affectations starting a third into the track. A subtle key or scale change midway through infuses the track with a sense of melodrama and adventure. The guitar work is soft and almost delicate while the synths create a thick bed of atmospheric sounds. Chuha gets to lay down yet another classy guitar solo. The rest of the band do an adecuate job at keeping things in slow motion.

"The River" is the second longest track on the record, and it brings back some ideas from "Acceptance", with a proggier, more diverse structure, allowing the band to shift things a little after three, mostly droning tracks. Yaroslav Mosiievsky shines on keyboard duty, using a myriad of tones and sounds to build a dense, almost Gothic atmosphere. Sagajdachnyj once again adds a bit of shrieking paired up with his growls, building exasperation into a pretty subdue track, musicially at least. This idea bleeds into "Black", a track that steers closer to the Death Metal end of Death/Doom. Screaming and growling pair up nicely with textured, atmospheric guitar work and meaty riffs, some truly nasty.

Closing the album in a soft manner, "Oblivion" feels almost like a coda. A gorgeous instrumental filled with warm synths, melodic guitar and slow bass, it even gets quite "Orion"-esque at times, even if the tempo never truly picks up. Some subtle use of dissonance builds a sense of soothing discomfort. This is the closest the band gets to pure Post-Metal territory, even if the songwriting keeps thing still Doom.

With somewhat lengthy tracks, only one being under 6 minutes and one going over 8, "Ego:Genesis" can be a bit of a difficult record for those without the patience this kind of music requires. The band manages to balance the repetitive nature of Doom (and other influences like Post-Metal/Rock) with the aggressive feel of Death Metal and even taking a few tricks from Prog and Jazz. The spare use of vocal samples and the addition of dense layers of synths and organs help creating a rich atmosphere, one that keeps things mostly interesting.

The songwriting is solid, and although the musicianship is not particularly complex, everyone plays their part in impeccable manner here. It is easy to feel that the album mashes together like one lengthy track, but that is hardly a fair criticism as it is on the DNA of Doom. On the production end, things could be a little less muddy, especially when working with multiple layers. Overall, a solid and enjoyable record that avoids going overboard with repetition, usually a tricky thing for Death/Doom bands.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Acceptance
2. New Days Old Wounds
3. Untitled
4. Conclusion
5. The River
6. Black
7. Oblivion
Artur Myrvoda – Drums
Roman Sagajdachnyj – Vocals
Mykhailo Chuha – Lead guitar
Anatolii Doroshenko – Rhythm guitars
Yaroslav Mosiievsky – Keyboards
Andrii Avramets – Bass
Record Label: Metallurg Music


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Edited 07 February 2023

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