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Sonus Mortis - Hail The Tragedies Of Man Award winner

Sonus Mortis
Hail The Tragedies Of Man
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 28 January 2017, 6:40 AM

SONUS MORTIS is an Irish one man band, with Kevin Byrne writing and playing everything that assaults your ears.  He is a one man wrecking crew; this album is a furious sonic landscape that contains a lot of different sounds in it.  Fans of all types of extreme metal will find something to like here.  The overall sound though recalls OLD MAN’S CHILD, with the blackened Death vocals and guitars working in perfect harmony with the keys. Byrne isn’t just a guy who is a jack of all trades but master of none.  He excels at everything.  All the instruments are played to the highest degree of professionalism; he doesn’t let his style on one instrument hurt the other. If you didn’t know otherwise, you would think it’s a band full of talented people instead of just one.

Much like the album as a whole, the opening track, “Chant Demigod,” has a Progressive structure to it but it retains a sharp blackened Death edge, similar to bands like ENSLAVED or PRIMORDIAL but it sounds a bit more raw in places (that’s a compliment). The beginning of the song presents a bleak atmosphere backed by pounding snare, gloomy riffs, and vocals that combine the best of death and black metal.  About half way through, it slows down and becomes rather melodic with deep clean vocals that lead into an emotional guitar solo.  The song is almost nine minutes in length but it’s over before you know it.  In fact, with all but two songs over the give minute mark, it might begin to get stale but it never does thinks to the constant twists and turns the album throws at you.

Production plays a key role in the music as well.  “Null and Void” brings a muffled layer over the vocals, giving the song a more underground, lo-fi Black Metal feel to it.  The song brings far more talent than random corpse paint punks recording in a burn church cellar can bring to the table, what with the clever drumming and several tempo changes the song contains. “And So We Became Slaves Forever” is more symphonic metal but it still presents great riffs that hold their own even with the keyboards in the background.   The oddly mixed clean vocals and brutal low end black metal growls present in the song really give in a SEPTICFLESH vibe.

The album high light has to be “I See Humans But No Humanity.”  The simple sounds of despair start the track off nicely then without warning it goes into a blackened Speed Metal assault that tries to snap your neck.  Just when you can’t take anymore it slows down for a few seconds before jumping back into the rush.  You get a breather in the form of a breathtaking melodic section that comes next.  The track ends with the keys, guitar, vocals…everything just coming together in a metal crescendo that cools off into spoken word over melodic guitar.  A masterpiece of a song.

This album is a great contender for a best of Black Metal list, or Extreme Metal in general.  Bryne has managed to create a wonderfully dark musical journey that just begs to be traveled through over and over again.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Chant Demigod
2. Null and Void
3. Subproject 54
4. No Escape
5. And So We Became Slaves Forever
6. End of Days
7. The Great Catholic Collapse
8. I See Humans But No Humanity
9. Chaos Reigns
10. Wretched Flesh, I Embrace
11. Hail the Tragedies of Man
Kevin Byrne – All Instruments and Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 10 August 2020

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