incredible to see how mature and at their ease in the songwriting Hieronymus
Bosch were when they originally recorded these tracks, considering their
average age was around 16. This Cd mainly deals with Progressive Death
metal even though further styles and elements are included within every
song, with a scarcity of stereotypes and an abundancy of smart solutions,
just like the underrated painter they took their monicker from.
The opening is entrusted with "Apogee",a Prog Death
metalsong, with several instrumental parts, growls and a good deal of
unusual incisive riffs; there're also melodic structures, yet always
sinister and very few keyboards in the background. For those who drool
for Cynic, latest Pestilence and Atheist. A smooth song development
and variety makes this and other long songs pleasant and easy to be
assimilated. Last but not least this song contains superlative bass
"Thought Racism Forms" is one of the band's more majestic
compositions, hardened by threatening back-up vocals, whereas "Petra
Scandali" appears profoundly rooted in the dogmas of old school
Death and Thrash metal; no Prog metal parts are present here, replaced
by a mountain of irresistible riffs, some fresh, other Slayerian.
"Black Lake Blues" is a short mid-tempo instrumental
based on a Blues Rock riff, the right preparation for the title track,
a little Doom and a bit Death, dynamic and anguishing, and partly constituted
by NWOBHM riffs; one of the more emblematic compositions, for sure a
highlight of the CD, with very precisely sung growls and a couple of
stunning guitar solos; there's even a slowdown a là Deicide before
a few declamatory conclusive clean vocals.
Dissonances and Techno-Thrash riffs are the things that stand out in
"Mental Perfection", followed by pure Prog metal odd
times, stop 'n' goes, mad elements and sounds influenced by Naked City;
remarkable are the ending melodic insertions. Only geniuses could compose
such a song!
A long instrumental ("The Gardens of Earthly Delights")
full of prodigious fast axe solos and guitar entwinings comes after,
closed by unexpected soft flute notes; our ears are attacked again by
the tight and furious "Doubt Soul", where lively guitars
are matched with another acrobatic guitar solo, and are closed in a
crescendo of speed and intensity. I'm convinced this one will strike
everyone when played on stage.
"Expectation of Autumn (In Memorium Kat D)" is a short
outro made with a distorted guitar and an acoustic one fading together.
The bonuses "Near Death Experience" and "Trust
Is a Dirt" are taken from the demos and therefore sound rawer;
anyway the sound is far more than decent, so don't get scared by that.
The former is extraordinarily groovy and the riffs crush as hell but
later you find melodic parts you just won't forget; both of these songs
are simple and very old-school; they alternate clean vocalsand growlings
and the latter stands out owing to supreme drumwork.
Ignoring these Russian Masters' debut now that you also have these 2
pearls available is like dying without ever visiting Moscow or St. Petersburg.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 12/11/04