Rating:
8.2
Spheron - Ecstasy Of God
5 July 2013


01. A Means To An End
02. The Beheaded Coachman
03. Prestige Of The Mortals
04. Saturnian Satellites
05. Clasp The Thorns
06. Prelude To The Misery
07. Degrees
08. Pulse Of Instinct
09. Tragedy Of The Clerics
10. Choking On Incense
11. Anthropogenic
12. From Glint To Crackling


Well, here is some very interesting technical death metal. Spheron's debut full-length approaches us from several angles, resulting in a perfectly varied, fascinating release. Very epic death metal is the foundation and though many songs stretch our ear in different directions, the musical arc is strong and every new turn fits well. Among the surprises, you'll find excellent groove and even a tiny bit of doom and progressive elements at times.

Spheron easily proves they can play solid, typical tech death quite well but the fun part is when they deviate from the path. They really know how to change things up, specifically, the art of slowing down.

The guitar melodies are incredible, and at times even bluesy. There's a killer, speedy solo here, and a tender, haunting solo there. Rhythms pound this song and groove in that one. You're getting the idea? It's a great album with many fascinating additions; some subtle, some obvious, but all vital.

Amidst all this epic tech death, there are two stand-out tracks that deserve mention. "Saturnian Satellites" rocks some of the best groove I've heard all year and has serious potential to be stuck in your head. It's a simple but elegant guitar line that leads this track. I can't get enough. The closer, "From Glint To Crackling," is another stand-out due its slow, almost progressive approach. It's some of the slowest Spheron gets and as the song goes on, the musical development leaves death metal entirely and reaches toward doom. Nice way to finish out, guys; keep us guessing.

There are a few interlude tracks where our heroes slyly enhance the mood further, only to kick things back into gear at top speed. The aggression factor actually could be higher for my tastes, especially given the excellent variety already here. They slow it down and play mid-tempo really well, but I could have used slightly more in the faster song department. Now, you'll still find up-tempo and aggressive playing, it just supports the slower music instead of the other way around.

As a band who has released only 1 demo and 1 EP, this album should be lacking in many more ways than "I'd like a tiny bit more aggression, please." It's such a well-constructed release, with insanely strong songwriting, brought to life by solid-as-hell performances. I keep forgetting that this is a debut (and I was shocked to learn it was in the first place). This will definitely end up being one of the most professional debuts this year, not to mention some of the more excellent tech death.


Band profile: Spheron
Album: Ecstasy Of God


 



Written on 22.06.2013 by
Susan
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.

Twitter: @HeavyMetalSusan
More reviews by Susan ››



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MechanisT - 23.06.2013 at 00:47  
Did I hear tech death mentioned here somewhere? Emphatically sold. Nice review as well.
theembryo - 25.06.2013 at 11:14  
Sold on the progressive elements along with the remaining review in general in the description. An 8+ rating from Susan for a debut is definitely something worth checking out. Thanks much!!
Zaphod - 25.06.2013 at 13:47  
Interesting review, will check.
Misfit74 - 13.07.2013 at 06:52  
It's quality, I suppose, but lacks the kind of riff-based components I really like. The soloing is nice and they can definitely play. That said, the songs didn't really grab me and the riffs were for the most part missing.
qlacs - 14.07.2013 at 19:34  
Like it a lot! Thanks fur putting them up Susan.

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