SOPHICIDE, Perdition of the Sublime (2012, Willowtip)

The skull:
Perdition of the Sublime is perfect death metalese, a jury-rigged assembly of college entrance-exam test words strung together to form some semblance of a meaning, even if no one would ever use them in that order in a sentence. A bonus layer of antichristian mockery is included here, as “perdition” has a specific theological meaning that lends the objective “sublime” an almost oxymoronic air. But, no matter how to interpret the pretentious title, you’re unlikely to require a moon, a skull, or a tree. But once you’ve relegated the sublime to perdition, you have to make do with the base materials left behind, and in that case, I suppose Sophicide have done the best they could. Still, is brown the only non-sublime color? Must fucking be.

The music:
Sophicide sail the same sonic seas as Spawn of Possession or Soreption, and if Sophicide aren’t quite as good as either of those bands, they’re still an excellent technical death metal outfit, making music that delivers on both brutality and sophistication. For my tastes, this is a bit blastier than is ideal, but generally speaking, Sophicide aren’t tripping over themselves to out-evil the next band, while still presenting their heaviest elements without sounding like they’re trying too hard (a la Son of Aurelius’s first record), and the widdly instrumental bits are genuinely impressive. Naturally, songcraft is more or less ignored here, and the flow from riff to riff sounds random as much as anything, but rare are the moments where I feel the band just crammed two riffs together for lack of a better idea. The lead work is fairly astounding, too, even if it comes off sometimes as a bit TOO composed (I don’t require all-out-jazz in my lead guitar, but I prefer when leads at least give the impression of a player following his muse in the moment.) All in all, this is an excellent album, and certainly one of the best I’ve listened to for this project in the past year. Not just good for a Big Dumb Skull, this is honestly excelent and should be required listening for tech death enthusiasts.
— Friar Johnsen

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