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Sentient Horror - The Crypts Below

Sentient Horror
The Crypts Below
by Katharine Hassett at 17 April 2018, 1:27 AM

Out of the depths of New Jersey and into the abyss of dark metal that is Sweden, SENTIENT HORROR is a death metal band formed in 2014 by ex-Dark Empire guitarist/vocalist Matt Moliti, with the intention of creating 90s-style SweDeath. This description is entirely valid upon hearing their first full-length, "Ungodly Forms." Even Dan Swanö (ex-EDGE OF SANITY, ex-BLOODBATH) deemed it "One of the best SweDeath projects I have come across in the last 20 years." You can unmistakably hear Swanö's influence on this album, as the guitar tone is almost identical to Edge of Sanity. It is a worthy throwback to the classic Scandinavian malevolence, and the follow up EP, "The Crypts Below" is another considerable example of this.

The five-song EP wastes no time getting right down to business with the opener, "Enter Crypts Below," assaulting the listener with a crushing beatdown and the SweDeath kings immediately flesh out their impressive guitar work with a tasty solo, never once letting up speed. The mid-range vocals fit the tone of this buzzsaw of an album perfectly and "Bled Dry by the Night" adds diversity to this range with some brutal, low gutterals. We see more exemplary solowork here, proving this is more than merely B-Sides.

"Hatchet Crimes" slows things down a bit (but not by much) with some sonically charged groves. A fitting halfway point for the 20 minute assault of pure brutality. Throw in some melodic solos and it's safe to say these boys straight out of Jersey fit the bill of the coveted title "SweDeath."

"Hell Marked" teases us with a slower, dissonant riff but gives us no chance to appreciate it as they come right back on the attack. Another speedy solo for the working class, an interlude of choir vocals and it's made clear this is intensely solid EP that we can hang up with the Swedish legends of years past. "Darkday," an EDGE OF SANITY cover only further solidifies this. Overall, I recommend this album to anyone craving a taste of brutality, but if you are itching for more, look no further than their full-length, "Ungodly Forms."

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Enter Crypts Below
2. Bled Dry by the Night
3. Hatchet Crimes
4. Hell Marked
5. Darkday (Edge of Sanity cover)
Ian Jordan - Bass
Ryan Cardoza - Drums
Jon Lopez - Guitars
Matt Moliti - Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Testimony Records


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