It is now official in my mind; Sweden and Finland are two countries that can guarantee the high quality of almost all the bands formed inside their borders. This thought has turned into a stronghold after the reviewing many albums from the aforementioned countries and giving them high rates. I do not know what is the reason for this (and simply I do not care) but now if I see one of these countries mentioned in one bands ancestry then I get prepared for something good or at least very interesting. This is exactly why I chose to review the debut album of THE FEW AGAINST MANY that hail from Sweden. Later on I discovered that this act is the brainchild of the ex-SCAR SYMMETRY singer Christian Alvestam who gathered around him some experienced musicians (check the lineup and their background). Sot (in English translates into soot) is the title of the band's debut that in my surprise comprises some songs with lyrics in Swedish. To be honest if I haven't read about this in the promo sheet I am not sure that I would get it by ear. This is due to the Death Metal sound that characterizes the vocals. Musically the album is not a pure Death Metal album and this actually makes it very interesting. There is a different 'air' here that many would call progressive Death Metal. Personally, I cannot use this term here because there are not that many similarities with late work of DEATH. In fact, there is a SCAR SYMMETRY underlying structure that surfaces up with some nice keayboard melodies and a different type of almost symphonic orchestrations that we have used mainly in modern Black Metal bands like the recent DIMMU BORGIR. This music mix may look strange but as soon as Ablder has enter all doudbts are gone. This is a in-your-face Death Metal track with massive volume and a hearty sound clarity. If I would try to describe the music here in one sentence I would say that this would be like if SCAR SYMMETRY had added a big dosage of Death Metal in their music. Brand Mark strikes hard with some nice shredding riffs while in the solid rhythm section there is such distortion that will make you think of Grindcore. But, the non Metal finishing touches in terms of keyboard fills and some violin sounds add the word 'melody' besides the album's tag in the musical description making it totally interesting. The repetitive riff structure in some parts might reveal a Black Metal connection especially in the fast breaks of Brand Mark and Abider. Actually, the latter is the album's highlight with the excellent bass guitar sound and insane guitar leads that look toward ZIMMERS HOLE's side. I hope I did not sound too confusing by mentioning all these Metal genres and musical influences. In fact I believe that this exactly the album's success' to connect all these different pieces into a single entity that I am sure will meet the media's and the fans' appreciation as it did to me. Check them without too many questioning and you won't regret it! Watch below a video showing the band working in the studio for Sot.
Hadanfard Brand Mark Blod Skapelsens Sorti Sot Abider Heresi One With The Shadow
Christian Alvestam - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar Patrik Gardberg - Lead Guitar Anders Edlund - Bass Par Johansson - Backing Vocals Jani Stefanovic - Drums