Sapiency – Tomorrow (Review)

SapiencySapiency play modern melodic Thrash Metal. I don’t listen to a lot of this style of music as there is a huge amount of mediocrity out there – it seems to be that writing okay music in this style is quite easy, but being truly great is rare.

Their style is similar to bands such as Scar Symmetry, In Flames, Soilwork, etc. – the gruff vocals juxtaposed against the clean, huge soaring guitars and keyboards, epic melodies and punchy drums, etc. Although Sapiency don’t hit the heights of the truly great, they are certainly a cut above the mediocre, and dare I say it this is quite an exciting and enjoyable release.

Having more bite to their attack than a lot of the typical In Flames/Soilwork clones, (which they aren’t), certainly works in their favour. The gruff vocals are a bit harsher than the norm, and the clean vocals a bit more powerful. They dwell on the right side of catchy rather than sounding ‘pop’. The guitars are not watered down and actually have some meat to the riffs rather than just being there to accentuate the vocals, which seems to be a usual failing of certain bands in this genre. In fact, Sapiency are less In Flames/Soilwork and more Scar Symmetry/Dark Tranquillity – heavier and less polished, (relatively speaking of course), than their more commercial kin. Some would say ‘more metal’. Here we even have the occasional blastbeat, which is always welcome. Solos too. It’s good that they are not afraid of speed either; it’s too easy for bands in this genre to lose interest across an album as every song has the same mid-paced tempo, speed and feeling.

Albums like this live or die by their songs and Sapiency have these; energy and catchiness, wrapped up and delivered as molten melodic metal. It’s hard not to feel the enthusiasm inherent in these tracks. There is a genuine love of metal on display here and it exhibits itself in every track and imbues them with a vitality that is otherwise missing in so many catchier bands.

I enjoyed Sapiency more than I thought I would; which is a reminder that it’s far to easy to feel jaded and cynical these days and every band should be judged on their individual merits. A class album – if you enjoy melody with your metal then check them out.

Eye of Solitude – Sui Caedere (Review)

Eye of SolitudeUK-based Eye of Solitude play slow, dirge-y funeral doom. Imagine a band like Esoteric only with some Paradise Lost-esque riffs/melodies, topped off with some very nice vocals.  Ahh yes; the vocals. The vocals are absolutely relentless – pure, deep, utterly uncompromising growls. The vocals fit the music perfectly and almost act as another instrument used to flatten the listener with their oppressive aural assault.

As well as the slow, crawling, very-heavy nature of the music, Eye of Solitude display a welcome grasp of songcraft and melody. This means that the songs don’t get boring or outstay their welcome, as well as having an emotional content which enhances the general feeling of the album to the point where even on the first listen you know that this is going to be a ‘grower’ of an album; the more you listen to it the better it gets.

Interspersed with all of the heaviness are also some quieter, more introspective moments that allow the listener a brief respite before being steamrollered once more by the crushing doom on offer here. It all works very well. “A Note to Say Farewell” is a great example of this.

This is the kind of album I can just sit back; turn up loud; and just let the soundscapes wash over me. The sheer feeling of the tracks on display here; the combination of songwriting, melody and atmosphere that gives the album something special and definitely makes it stand out from its peers.

Highly recommended. If you even vaguely like this genre of music then you will enjoy this band.