Sothis

De Oppresso Liber

Written by: EW on 08/10/2008 23:51:35

From the moment of seeing a picture of Sothis it is clear what lays in store - black metal - and for those more in the know of such subjects, the knowledge too that Sothis reside at the intricate 'un-kvlt' end of the scale, far opposed to your sicker dirtier Watain's or Deathspell Omega's. One might remember in my review of Nachtmystium's superb "Assassins..." from a few months back, the mention of USBM and it's differing fortunes. Well Sothis come from that horribly dark place known as Los Angeles, California, yet are the perpetrators of such a totally European sounding BM style one would never consider their homes being across the pond.

Such is the similarity across "De Oppresso Liber" to the grandiose blasting of Dimmu Borgir and Emperor coupled with the theatrics of Cradle of Filth one wonders their reasons in trying to sound so European (Norwegian to be precise). Every song is heavily laden with the synth and keys of only female member Asperia, providing the backbone upon which the high-speed charge of the guitars takes place; however while the songs sound rich and full because of her influence, the feeling of darkness and misanthropy that I'm sure Sothis wish to conjure feels noticeably absent. This unfortunately is the unavoidable crossroads met for such an album nowadays, where the cleanliness and shock horror-feel of songs like "The Cold Disconnection" and "Beneath A Black Boiling Sky" won't appeal to many of the blackened hordes in the underground and yet is too extreme for many outside of it, though as Dimmu Borgir have proved in recent years, a career can be built on the foundations laid by Emperor in the 1990s for a symphonic take on Satan's favourite subgenre. The speed of attack across "De Oppresso Liber", best summed up in closer "Perpetual", mixes 'fast' with the 'pretty fast', rarely allowing Sothis to inject greater individuality that they no doubt possess into the fray, leaving lessons to be learnt against symphonic metal masters Dimmu Borgir. In such a synth-led structure, Sothis would benefit from slowing the charge, altering song structures and building up the atmosphere to turn a good album into a great one.

Far from being all negative, "De Oppresso Liber" features a band competent on their instruments, playing in the style of one of the genres giants in Dimmu and being backed up by a powerful label (Candelight) which should hold them in good stead to secure a foothold in such an extremely fickle scene as is the BM world. Quite what impact the bands location in sunny California will have remains to be seen in the coming months but if you like your Metal hard, heavy yet pleasantly polished you could do a lot worse than check out "De Oppresso Liber".

Download: De Oppresso Liber, The Cold Disconnection
For The Fans Of: Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Cradle of Filth
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 02.09.2008
Candlelight Records

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