Technical death metal is a very odd concept to get to grips with, evoking images of elaborate traps of the lethal nature, all set off on unsuspecting victims alongside a Celtic Frost soundtrack, in some sort of real life version of a Saw film. Why don’t we take a look at some actual technical death metal in the form of Remnant Of Humanity, the new album from From Sorrow To Serenity.
Opening with the one, two combo of Lost Our Way and Hellbound, it’s pretty clear that these guys don’t f**k around when it comes to keeping to their metal credentials, with a shotgun-subtle blast of noisy guitar and a drummer smashing their kit with the same unrelenting force with which Ron Jeremy slams his co-stars (yes, we know it’s a crude comparison, but it’s totally apt). It’s loud and simple, efficient in what it sets out to do, but doesn’t push any boundaries, which seems to be the theme for most of the album. Songs bleed from one to the other, often squeezing themselves into a smoothie of similarity (smoothies are hardcore, ok?). Before we know it, track number eight – ‘Nescient‘ – has begun and we’re not quite sure where the previous 5 offerings have gone. If it weren’t for a brief change of pace with the more melodic tones of ‘Break The Mould‘, there would of been very little to differentiate between tracks.
Now, this is not to say that the music is in any way bad, as it really isn’t. In fact, there’s some absolutely machine tight musicianship here, with each member obviously being an expert on their chosen instrument. Death metal is always a tough sound to please with, as there is very little in the way of wiggle room or chances to play about with sounds and techniques without straying too far from the genre. Toward the end of the album, ‘In Time‘ offers two minutes of more restful, instrumental bliss that lends the listener a small pause for breath before closing track ‘The Way Back‘ gives a five-minute roar to end, also showing itself to be one of the best moments of the entire album. It’s hefty, sluggish and downright dirty in all the right ways, whilst packing in a punch of emotion that is so easily lost from death metal.
All in all, could we recommend this album? To a fan of the genre, absolutely, as it sticks to its confines excellently and the musicianship truly shines through in every way. To a newcomer? Well, it may be a little too niche for those just taking their first tentative steps in. Are we excited for what is to come though? Yes we are.