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Sentient Horror – Rites of Gore Award winner

Sentient Horror
Rites of Gore
by Alex Barnard at 21 June 2022, 11:42 PM

SENTIENT HORROR is a Death Metal band from Stockholm, New Jersey. “Rites of Gore” is the group’s third full-length album, released by Redefining Darkness Records on April 22, 2022.

It’s kind of ironic that these guys are from Stockholm, New Jersey, as their sound is a very faithful tribute to the Stockholm school of Swedish Death Metal. The riffs are bursting with adrenaline and have a touch of melody without cribbing from NWOBHM (especially on “Swamp Burial”), which is a very ENTOMBED move. The guitars emulate the buzz-saw sound of classic groups like UNLEASHED and GRAVE. Lacking uber-technicality and jazzy sophistication, this album hits you over the head like a blunt object and leaves you concussed for days after.

In terms of musicianship, this band is in a very high league. Jon Lopez and Matt Moliti trade dizzying riffs that harmonize perfectly, while Moliti’s solos borrow elements from Death Metal greats like James Murphy and even Chuck Schuldiner, especially on tracks like “A Faceless Corpse.” Moliti’s vocals are also incredibly brutal, almost sounding like a combination of the ominous growl of Corpsegrinder and the gnarly shouts of the late-great L.G. Petrov. Tyler Butkovsky’s basslines have a brutish, caveman-like attitude to them, fitting in with the music perfectly. And, last but at least, Evan Daniele’s drumming is devilishly fast and super heavy, hitting an all-time high speed on “Descend to Chaos.”

Other highlights from the track listing include “Obliteration of Souls,” which is a good lesson in the old-school sound for newcomers; “The Grave is My Home,” with its deathly pinched harmonics and SLAYER-esque riffs; and “Supposed to Rot,” where the group gets to pay tribute to their heroes, ENTOMBED, in grand fashion.

Overall, this album is excellent. I’m a huge sucker for the classic, Stockholm sound of Death Metal, and while SENTIENT HORROR are not from the correct Stockholm, they have certainly proven to be masters of that sound. If you enjoy albums like “Left Hand Path” and “Wolverine Blues,” consider adding “Rites of Gore” to your pantheon.

Production: 10
Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9

5 Star Rating

1. A Faceless Corpse
2. Obliteration of Souls
3. Swamp Burial
4. Rites of Gore
5. Splitting Skulls
6. Descend to Chaos
7. The Grave is My Home
8. Til Death Do Us Part
9. The Eyes of Dread
10. Supposed to Rot (Entombed Cover)
Jon Lopez ­– Rhythm Guitar
Matt Moliti – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Tyler Butkovsky – Bass
Evan Daniele – Drums
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records


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Edited 06 July 2022

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