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Roots Of Tragedy - Doctrines

Roots Of Tragedy
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 July 2018, 6:51 AM

ROOTS OF TRAGEDY is a Metalcore/Djent project from the cold forests of Northern Norway. The person behind everything is David Sandvik, disciple of Christ, musician, producer, father, and husband. You might remember him as the former vocalist for IN GRIEF and RECREATE THE SUN, but his musical works have been silent through late 2017. Now, many years since creating this project, his works come to fruition, as he has released the album we have for review here titled “Doctrines.” The album contains nine tracks.

“Preludium” is a short, two-minute opening mood setter. Soprano chants light up the background as a solitary gruff male voice utters spoken words. A heavy, chugging guitar riff soon joins the fold, with thudding low accents. It segues into “Last Adam.” It starts with a lumbering pace focused on beefy rhythms and raging Death vocals, but also features melodic passages with atmosphere and clean vocals. The combination works very well. “Promise of Persecution” enters with a Djent guitar riff and heavy strikes that shake the very ground. The harsh vocals dance with the riffs in a cadence of unison. Again, the chaos is coupled with moments of ambiance that are quite charming.

“Doctrines Pt. 1” blends the two counter styles together throughout the song, mixing moments of crushing pulses with bewitching melodies in both clean vocals and in the shifting guitar riffing. The attack and retreat nature of the sound keeps your attention for sure. “Battleground” sounds perhaps as you might expect from the song title. The bulky and stout guitar riff is supported by incensed Death vocals with subdued melodies sprinkled throughout. A clean vocal passage takes the song to completion. “Dynamis” opens with a somber tone and the weight of the rhythms remains robust. Some dissonance in the chorus pushes the tone further downwards, but is rescued by clean vocals and harmonies at other points.

“This Fire” is a scorcher out of the gates, with an aggressive edge that goes straight for your jugular, followed by a lumbering break-down of open ended chords that just pound you into submission. The peaceful and tender interlude just after the half way mark cuts the aggression with reflective tone. “Identity” then springs into the fold with a lively and energetic riff where the guitars explore a little more above that fat bottom end. The drums are pick up here in a flurry of notes and rhythms. Just after the half way mark the melody kicks in with clean vocals and a solemn tone. This is probably my favorite on the album.

“Doctrines Pt. 2” closed the album. It has a heavy and battering entrance that is just punishing, but changes with alternating clean vocals where the axe beating drops off a bit and it breathes more openly. It’s a good culminating song to end the album. What I think the album does best is that ultra-tight and heavy rhythms being tempered by moments of ambient and atmospheric melody. Too much of either can make for a repetitive listening experience, but when they are combined in the blended way they are here, they mix together like sugar dissolving in black coffee rather than existing but not blending as water and oil. Fans of Djent, Deathcore, Metalcore and more this is definitely up your alley.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Preludium
2. Last Adam
3. Promise of Persecution
4. Doctrines Pt. 1
5. Battleground
6. Dynamis
7. This Fire
8. Identity
9. Doctrines Pt. 2
David Sandvik – All Instruments and Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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