Sophicide // Perdition of the Sublime 
Rating: 4.5/5.0 — Sublimity
Label: Willowtip [US] | Hammerheart [EU]
Websites: | bandcamp
Release Dates: EU: 2012.08.20 | US: 08.14.2012

Sophicide - Perdition of the Sublime

Technical death metal was the darling of the death metal scene about 5 or 6 years ago, but since the ever-growing retro-death craze has begun to take over the number of quality technical death metal releases that I’ve gotten my hands on has dramatically decreased. Still, that didn’t stop the now 22 year-old Adam Lazslo from writing a bunch of pretty fucking sweet techy songs and getting himself a worldwide deal with Willowtip. Perdition of the Sublime is Sophicide‘s debut record and one can see why this record – written by someone who can’t tour to support it – is being released by a label of this quality: because it’s a truly elite technical death metal experience.

Perdition of the Sublime is a no-holds-barred, technical death metal wet dream. From the opening strains of the ripping opening track “The Art of Atrocity” one is met with a full on assault pummeling (but unfortunately replaced) drums and dissonant riffing which gives way to headbang-inducing riffing and tech geekery. This sets the pace for the whole album, which only rarely gives the listener any kind of breather. Where Sophicide succeeds most adroitly is the ability to write really technically interesting material – complete with the fret gymnastics we’ve come to expect from a scene dominated by the ghost of Necrophagist and a newly reinvigorated Spawn of Possession – but with the song writing chops of Anata; so smooth you sometimes have a hard time noticing how interesting and impressive what you’re listening to really is. It’s the combination of brutality in the riffs, drums and vocals, with the melodic work that keeps flows out in almost neo-classical flows (see the opening strain of “Blood for Honour”).

Another differentiating factor is that Lazslo is not afraid of chunky riffing á la Meshuggah or Gojira – and while it never becomes the primary focus of any one song (id est, there is no core or djent here), Perdition of the Sublime is remarkably groovy compared to its contemporaries (you’ll hear some of it above in “The Art of Atrocity” towards the end). This is not a Gorguts or Illogicist record, but instead it’s more reminiscent of Obscura‘s Cosmogenesis or Anata‘s 2004 masterpiece Under a Stone with No Inscription. I think this is best seen in the songs like “Freedom of the Mind” where the bridge is remarkably groovy in production and tone, but the rest of the song is a driving almost At The Gates kind of thrashy death feel. And this highly successful mix comes up again in “Lafayette’s Deception” and “Perdition of the Sublime” (and numerous other places). Finally, the use of acoustics in a few places offers up some impressive moments. “Within Darkness” and “Of Lust and Vengeance” have Nile-esque, faux “middle eastern” acoustic work, while “Folie Á Deux” evokes Shroud of Despondency‘s two guitar approach to acoustics, and “Blood for Honour” has a piece that sounds like it could have been straight of Blackwater Park.

SophicideSo that kind of variation, plus a combination of groove and melodic riffyness, is complemented by a guitar performance in the solo department that I think deserves its own paragraph. While the songwriting is stellar, the thing that takes this record from just being well-written songs, with technical flare and crushing riffs is the excellent guitar work. It depends, of course, what you like from your guitar players, but as a fan of neo-classical work Perdition of the Sublime has what I want in spades. Lazslo’s style is on display through the record, but especially the intro work on “Dawn of a New Age,” “Age of Atrocity” and “Freedom of the Mind” stand out for being exceptionally good. The use of two guitars to do interlaced work sometimes makes the really elite guitar work seem like it’s just part of the riffing; this approach acts almost as camouflage because the guitars aren’t too far forward in the mix – and it works perfectly.

A final note: being a multi-instrumentalist is pretty tough, but Lazslo also produced and mastered this thing himself. The quality of the production is actually really pretty good, and while the drums are either replaced or just programmed, the fact that I can’t tell which speaks highly of the performance. The bass is audible even in shitty speakers – and is a force to be reckoned with when listening to it in monitors or good speakers (hell, the performance ain’t shabby either) – and the vocals, while standard fare for death metal, work perfectly in their context. And at 43 minutes, this is perfect vinyl length (hint, hint) and is the perfect length for a high octane technical death metal record. Perdition of the Sublime swings in, hits you in the face and is done just in time for you to say “I want more!” I can’t get enough of what Sophicide is doing – the combination of technicality with melodic intelligence and great songwriting should make anyone with any remote interest in technical death metal to stand in the corner with their arms crossed for joy.

  • The riffs are so tasty; they are finger-licking good.  Thank you AMG for introducing me to another awesome band!

  • Willowtip is on top of their game when it comes to tech death, and Sophicide is no exception. So excited for this!

  • Definitely checking this out when it’s released. Cheers.

  • Mike_Callavaro

    Hell yes! Cant wait for this one, its sounds awesome.

    I can barely keep up with all those good records coming up. Im still headbanging to Testament.

  • Kalsten

    Wow. The song you show sounds killer! I will keep an eye on this band. I am missing more technical death metal since last Spawn of Posesssion. Where are Necrophagist? Have they died or what?

    • Yeah, Necrophagist are like Atlantis or something… rumors, rumors.

  • Can’t really check the track now since I’m at work , but hell, this sounds good. Can’t remember the last time I’ve seen ATG and Necrophagist get mentioned in the same article.. makes me excited about this one!!

    • It occurred to me after writing that that I’m not really sure I know of another band that so artfully combines melodic death and technical death. 

      • Michael Imbornoni

        How about early Arsis?

        • Not as good as these guys.  Revocation though is another technical death metal band that is very listenable.  I think AMG would agree.

  • Gonna check it as soon as possible.

    I am still haunted by the “Ghost of Necrophagist” lol, maybe this can be the fix that I need.

    • Yeah, it really is weird. They were supposed to have a new record a couple years ago: but nothing. 

  • Sweet shit indeed.

  • Michael Imbornoni

    Really want to check this out. The cover artwork is terrible, but “This is not a Gorguts or Illogicist record, but instead it’s more reminiscent of Obscura‘s Cosmogenesis or Anata‘s 2004 masterpiece Under a Stone with No Inscription.” seems like something that I need to pick up.

    • The cover art can be terrible because the record is fantastic. 

  • Hell yeah. 

  • Excellent review, just ordered the cd, and I’m literally headbanging at work.

  • a_dg

    It just came out here in the US, bought it. Haven’t gotten through all of it yet, but it’s tons of fun. Thanks for the recommendation. How great is it that a one-person band can write and record an album like this, let alone get it released and reviewed? So great.

    • A lot of individual projects really suck. This guy, not so much. I am a fan.

  • Wow. Fucking wow. Great review. I love the way the interesting technical bits (this solo, that riff) is fenced in by the songs. And I’m a sucker for neo-classical solo shit too.

    The album is available on the Willowtip Bandcamp, I added it.. oh wait :)

  • Pingback: Record(s) o' the Month - August 2012 | Angry Metal Guy()

  • Not really feeling this, honestly.