Sněť – Mokvání V Okovech Review

Sněť is a concise little moniker for a death metal band, and their Mokvání V Okovech debut, clocking in at just over 28 minutes, is also concise. Name dropping Autopsy, Carcass, and Undergang as prime influences, this upstart Czech Republic act had me dreaming of septic tank quality old school death reeking of foul, repugnant things, and to an extent these things are delivered with additional nods to Incantation and Morbid Angel. With such a list of greats functioning as Hellish muses, you would hope for something as toxic as a Super Fund site on double secret probation. Sadly, what Sněť produced here, though often enjoyable, isn’t quite the fetid charnel house fire I was hoping for. It’s decent, and tickles the right throwback, old school nerve clusters at times, but I’ve heard this ugly song many, many times before and done much better.1

The band doesn’t exactly get off on their best foot with opening instrumental “Útes Mrtvol.” It’s okay and has some decent riffing, but it runs on for 2-plus minutes without really developing into anything interesting. It does serve to set up “Kůň Kadaver” nicely, because by the time it finally kicks in, you’re more than ready for something big to happen. This one is a respectable slice of old school, punky death mixing Morbid Angel-adjacent riffs with the muck and murk of early Autopsy. It’s aggressive enough to grab your attention and hold it for its 3-plus minutes, and I enjoy the nasty vocals and some of the riffs are solid, but it’s hardly anything you haven’t heard before and it feels just a bit generic. Sněť are at their best when they go low-fi, sub-basement death, as they do in the final minute of “Princip Křížení” where it sounds like an early Incantation song pops in out of nowhere. It’s grisly, grimy, and ungodly, and this I want more of. “Demon” delivers just that over a bumpy, chaotic 3 minutes, and here is where the band’s potential shines brightest. It’s like an twisted mutation of Autopsy and early Carcass and I can’t help but want to hug it and pop its adorable pustules. If the rest of Mokvání V Okovech got this deep into the cesspool, I’d be an avid supporter.

“Zamrzlý Vrch” does dive deeper into the classic Carcass sound however, with solid results and some excellently godawful inhuman vocals, and “Sakrofag” is a beefy, cargo shorts wearing scuzzbucket of a tune designed to gleefully curb stomp you with a crusty, odious Autopsy gallop and crude, maniacal vocals. The biggest problem on Mokvání V Okovech is the closer. “Vesmírná Saliva” is the longest song by far at 6:44 and it’s also the least dynamic and interesting. It plods along in an unhurried, pseudo-doom death amble without oppressing or crushing you with its girth as good doom death is wont to do. It’s lazy, uninteresting fare that just keeps going and going without doing much to keep you hanging around. I find it a chore to slog through every time and it ends the album with a weak whimper. Sound-wise Sněť do a lot of things right. The production is murky but audible, the guitar tone is ugly and creepy, and the vocals vary from intimidating to subhuman. I like that.

Guitarists Hnisatel and Ransolič are more than competent and manage to churn out some creepy, crawly licks as well as some battering ram chugs as they trod the road to devastation. There aren’t a lot of absolutely killer leads to pierce you from within, but the riffage drives the songs and creates the proper moods. Řád Zdechlin’s vocals are well done. I prefer when he goes for the croaking, “inhuman thing from the pit” style, but he’s solid across the spectrum of death eruptions. I have no particular problem with any of the performances. It’s really just the writing holding them back at this point. It isn’t consistent enough and only occasionally does it rise above standard issue.

I really wanted to like Mokvání V Okovech more, but it’s a mix of generic retread ideas and uneventful writing, with a few slobberknocker moments scattered about to frustrate you with glimpses of what could be. I think Sněť is capable of much more, and hopefully with some time and experience they’ll grow stronger and come back to pulverize. I’ll keep a casual eye on them just in case.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Blood Harvest
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: May 14th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. That logo however is next level stuff.
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