Metal with a Mind
The title of German death metal duo Sophicide’s debut LP is as ironic as their music is atypical. While founder, leader and guitar/vocalist Adam Laszlo offers no illusions about what genre label fits his band, the music itself is set apart from the pack with innovative—some would say sublime—touches. Perdition of the Sublime? Hardly! Whatever their intentions, the sublime seems alive and well with Sophicide.
The blast beat (from drums that may or may not be programmed) and loud guitars launch you into “The Art of Atrocity”—no faux-symphonic intro here—with a fierceness that would indeed be considered overt. But, the dissonant opening chords fly in the face of “typical” death metal. A very brief and jarring bass solo is refreshing, both in the context of the song, like a splash of ice water in the face, and in the context of the genre as a whole. “Within Darkness” has an acoustic guitar plucking six seconds into the track—about as out of place as it is welcome. The title number has an unexpected but not out-of-place time signature. In “Of Lust and Vengeance,” we finally get an extended breather by way of a light intro and more plodding drums. “Execration” offers hints of an interesting melody line behind all the screaming. A bass line on “Blood for Honour” echoes the complex guitar riff.
All this adds up to 11 tracks of music that both melt faces and challenge minds. As the band’s name can be translated “death to philosophy,” and the album title wishes to rid the world of sublimity, one wonders if 22-year-old Laszlo is fully aware of what he has created. He is either a genius or an accidental artist, but either way Perdition of the Sublime will be welcomed in the world of death metal as an impressive debut.