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Sweeping Death – Tristesse Award winner

Sweeping Death
by Alex Barnard at 19 November 2021, 11:32 PM

SWEEPING DEATH is a Progressive Metal band from Germany. “Tristesse” is the band’s second EP, released independently on September 9, 2021.

There's only one word I can really say right off the bat: FUUUUUUUUUUCK! This band is incredible! I’m really picky when it comes to Prog Metal. I tend to lean more towards bands like NEVERMORE, TOOL, and OPETH than to DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, and QUEENSRYCHE. What’s really interesting about SWEEPING DEATH is that it almost seems as if they have blurred the lines between all of the bands I just mentioned, and it works! Elias Witzigmann’s main singing style borrows elements from Klaus Meine, Paul Stanley and Rob Halford, but he also breaks out a pretty brutal death growl (“Sublime Me”). Simon Bertl and Markus Heilmeier seamlessly interweave elements of Gypsy Jazz, Hard Rock, and even Black Metal into their guitar riffs. Andreas Bertl’s bass undergirds each track with a thunderous roar while also contributing harmonically in certain areas to the guitar melodies. And finally, everything from Tobias Kasper’s drumming techniques to his drum tone is phenomenal, and he makes one hell of a pianist too!

Another thing I have to commend the band for is the production on this EP, which is always a mixed bag when it comes to independent releases. I’m not saying independent releases always sound terrible, but more often than not, the production is pretty lacking. Not only does this sound like it was recorded in a professional studio, but it also sounds like it was recorded with a big studio budget. The amount of instrumentation the band layers into their songs, the little bits and pieces of ear candy sprinkled all over the EP, and the tone of the individual pieces of the band all sound phenomenal!

Of course, I can’t really go into highlights here because there are only three tracks, but regardless, perhaps the strongest track on this EP is “The World As Will.” The energy on the song is driving, the riffs are crushing, and the guitar solo is so good I can’t think of another adverb! “Alter the Rift” has similar energy to the preceding track and prominently displays Witzigmann’s wide vocal range. And finally, “Sublime Me” is somewhat ballad-like in certain parts but is nonetheless super heavy.

Overall, I wish this EP was longer! SWEEPING DEATH have made one of the most interesting Pure-Progressive Metal albums I’ve ever heard in my entire life, and no, that is not an exaggeration. It astounds me that this band is not signed yet. Labels, take note of this group. As soon as they hear this EP, I guarantee you, a bidding war could start in seconds.

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

5 Star Rating

1. The World As Will
2. Alter the Rift
3. Sublime Me
Andreas Bertl – Bass
Tobias Kasper – Drums, Piano
Markus Heilmeier – Guitars
Simon Bertl – Guitars, Vocals
Elias Witzigmann – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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