serocs-the_nextSerocs began back in 2009 as a one-man operation, founded by Mexico-based guitarist Antonio Freyre. After a couple of EP releases, their debut full-length Oneirology finally surfaced a year ago. In the short time since then, Serocs has become a multi-national death metal conglomerate, with Freyre recruiting members of Vile, Monstrosity and Lecherous Nocturne (not to mention a whole shitload of guest appearances).

For all the tech-death credentials of this group, the result is heavy on the “death” and short on “tech.” For one thing, Freyre avoids the genre’s typical showoff moves almost entirely, and rarely even takes solos. There are no ridiculous tapping riffs, no sweep arpeggios, none of that shit.

However, Freyre does know a thing or two about gigantic, nauseatingly weird riffs, and The Next is jam-packed with them. Comparisons to both Gorguts and Cryptopsy are appropriate, although the band occasionally ditches the tech trappings altogether for a more brutal, Dying Fetus-esque approach. This makes for somewhat of a stylistic disconnect, as if the band isn’t even quite sure what they’re trying to do. Luckily, the ever-flowing stream of fucked up riffs provides some consistency throughout. Standout parts are few and far between, although the Cynic-like drum groove on “Urban Terror” and the acoustic intro to “Alienus Gignesthai” both left an impression.

Sadly, The Next‘s greatest flaw might be the production. This record’s sound is heavy on guitars, which is great and all, but it comes at the expense of the other instruments. Vocals are buried deep, and the drums sound thin and clanky, which is unfortunate because Timo Häkkinen (Kataplexia, Vile) is a monster drummer capable of both speed and groove. But bassist Mike Poggione (MonstrosityEulogyVile) suffers the most from this mix job — the poor guy is barely audible except for the occasional bass fill when the rest of the band drops out.

Serocs band photoSo back to that “shitload of guest appearances” I mentioned earlier. That list includes members of Demilich, Elderoth, Severed Savior, and Womb Leech, among others. I don’t have nearly enough of a refined palate to tell you who shows up where, but rest assured that all of these people know what they’re doing, and fit into the scheme of things quite nicely.

The Next will probably never make you forget about Obscura (or even Obscura), but it’s a worthy, if slightly confused, addition to the tech-death ranks. Clocking in at a bite-size 31 minutes long, it gets right to the point and then gets the fuck out, which works in its favor. If you woke up today and thought, “I could really go for a a half hour of vomitous, weird death metal riffs,” Serocs has got just the thing for you.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
Label: Self-released
Release Dates: EU: 2013.10.01 | US: 10.01.2013

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  • Kyle McDonald

    That album artwork is awesome. Too bad it only got a 2.5…

  • Brian Kelly

    the little ive listened to mexican metal music along with other latin america, south america, etc bands in the heavy genre is that they just dont have the musical sensibilities that the Scandinavian bands do, along with the whole euro-area practically. everything from the latin areas aside from the top power metal bands either just sounds terrible or very amateurish or the production is terrible. theres not many bands that have the ability to about always write music that sounds good & makes sense & is catchy. especially when you get into heavier music. opeth, earlier cob, earlier in flames, somewhat earlier dark tranquillity, everything they wrote was heavy & catchy. of course thats why they are at the top of their genre, no matter how heavy something is, if its not essentially catchy it wont become popular. europe generally has it, south & latin america generally dont.

    • Try The Chasm and The Ordher. They’re mighty good.

  • basenjibrian

    Brian Kelly: Disagree somewhat. Chilean doom metal can be fantastic, such as Mar de Gris