Nov 30, 2011

Sothis "De Opresso Liber" Review

Genre: Symphonic Black Metal
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: 2008

Black Metal has never been a genre bands play to gain massive popular acclaim. More than a style of music, the very essence of being a black metal band is one of anonymity and obscurity. Certainly there are some bands that break through this and become at the very least successful and widely known in the metal scene (one thinks of such bands as Dimmu Borgir or Behemoth). Sothis, hailing from The United States, California no less, an area that, while producing many metal acts is not known for the nihilistic and dark elements that often makes up the sound of Black Metal. Their debut album on Candlelight Records “De Opresso Liber” is if nothing else an immensely competent black metal album. All the necessary elements are there, the tremolo style guitars, the unending pounding drums, the keys that have been arranged in an intensely ethereal fashion. The tracks themselves are all masterfully arranged and recorded so much so that to name one particular track as a standout is to do a disservice to the other tracks and to the album itself, lyrically there are some cohesive concepts but even without telling a narrative that progresses from song to song, Sothis has made an album that demands to be heard sequentially in its entirety.
There is nothing particularly wrong with “De Opresso Liber” and that is the albums greatest strength and weakness, listeners will hear a band that is talented that is for sure, all the members of Sothis are extremely well versed in their particular instrument. What listeners may be wondering is “where is the challenge?” This genre of music is so rebellious by its very nature that it almost seems like an obligation of any band who takes up arms in the name of Black Metal must also find a way to challenge the preconceived notions had about the music they play. While not a groundbreaking effort, “De Opresso Liber” is without a doubt a solid album, the experience will be familiar to those already fans of this genre, those delving into this form of music for the first time would be hard pressed to find a better example of what the genre is all about.
Rating: 4/5
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