LTTP Album Review: Sothoth – Rise to Conquer

I came across these dudes randomly while surfing Youtube for new metal and I am super glad I did. They kick ass! I won’t say they are doing anything crazy that you haven’t really heard before, but what they are doing they are doing really well. It’s a damn fine album and I am really digging it.

OK, I will throw a few descriptors out there first off to get you primed for what you are in for – deathcore. Yup, I don’t need a few, that’s pretty much it. But wait! Don’t let that deter you! If I had to compare them to some established bands I would probably say Job For A Cowboy (Genesis era), Through The Eyes Of The Dead, and a dash of Fear Factory’s more straight metal stuff. If you like this style of music, you will most likely dig these guys.

Righty-oh, let’s start with some positives. The riffage on this album is awesome. Unlike a lot of bands in this genre, the riffs aren’t just going for “cool and brutal” and winding up as a generic collection of stuff, they are actually memorable. Each song and the sections within has its own identity and yet it still sounds like an album. Its a really good balance. I think a lot of that is down to the composition. The riffs do stylistically jump around a bit, but all of the tracks do that to some degree and that is part of what makes this band work. Going from straight death, into a melodic black metal section and then into a djent-y stutter might sound a bit off putting at first, but all of the songs do this rather well. In short, the songs sound well rehearsed rather than slapped together. There are also a couple times where a little keyboard flourish will crop up. They are great additions to the tracks they appear on and help set the songs apart. Be brave and turn that shit up Sothoth!

The drumming also fits in really well here. Much like the guitars and bass, there is nothing you haven’t heard before, but its put together in a way that feels fresher than the sum of its parts. I like the way the drummer will sometimes accent the riff rhythm and sometimes decides not too. Its a simple change up from a lot of the genre staple drumming where its pretty much always accents, and its not done as often as it could be, but it helps the feel of the songs change up from the norm to a greater degree and adds to the memorability of the album.

OK, Sothoth, if you read this, don’t be angry, but I’m going to hit you with some constructive criticism now. Cool? I only have 2 issues with the album, neither of them are deal breakers, and both are easily corrected.

1 – The guitar solos don’t fit….at all. They are very competently played, no doubt. The technical skills are there for sure. But the solos just sound like they were recorded for a different song and dropped in. The melodic lead lines, like on tracks 4 and 10, are spot on awesome though. I would love to hear this band do a little more of that. The leads like that really help set this band apart.

2 – The vocals are a little bland. He’s got a great growl and they fit great rhythmically, but there needs to be a bit more tonal variety to keep the listener interested. Just mix it up a bit to liven up the tracks. High here, low here, mid here. Stuff like that. Nothing huge, even just a couple sections on a couple songs on the next album and the vocals would be golden.

I’ll briefly hit on the sound of the album – its fine. That’s really it. I love that the bass comes through clearly on every track. Other than that, it sounds like the engineer just did presets. Lead guitar preset 3 here, snare compressor preset 5 there, you get the idea. There is nothing wrong with it at all, but it also adds nothing. Oh, and track 10 has this weird popping starting in the mid section. The attack on the bass compressor must be set at just the wrong time to let that through. Oh well, no biggie.

All right, I’m gonna wrap it up. This is a super great head banger of an album. It has a few little issues that keep it from being awesome, but nothing that gets in the way of enjoyment. If you like slightly blackened deathcore, go get this immediately. I mean, its 3 freaking dollars. And its damn good. I very much hope this band continues to put out music and evolve. I will be trying my best to keep up with them and I know if they release a follow up album, I will be picking it up day one.

Stream and purchase the album here:

LTTP Album Review: Sothoth – Rise to Conquer