It was clear early on that Kevin Byrne’s Sonus Mortis project was a quality proposition.
Last time round, I said that it was wonderful stuff, but perhaps too long at fifteen or so tracks. So Kevy has nipped a bit and tucked a tad. The result is a much more realistic eleven on this latest.
Still, with the thick orchestration of these tracks, even that is an ask. So here goes.
Starman, Waiting In The Sky
It’s sort of starrier, in an ascendant Devin Townsend kind of way. There’s a feeling of elevation and exapnsiveness in the dreamy synths.
In the past I’ve referenced Rotting Christ (the chugging guitars), Tryptikon (the heaviness) and Dimmu Borgir (synths) and those largely remain true.
‘Null And Void’ in particular is beefy in the kind of way that Red Harvest used to muscle in, and when the blasting starts it takes on even more weight still.
What is now becoming apparent is a bit of similarity between tunes creeping in, especially when there are so many. I’m not trying to demean Kevy’s output here nor his productivity. But there’s an inevitability that when you’re pumping out so much stuff, the motifs will begin to repeat.
So my question is – is there enough differentiation between these tracks?
Possibly not. But a high quality bar ensures that even when they progres along a similar theme, they’re all engaging.
‘No Escape’ has a colder, more blackened feel to it – certainly in the Dimmu Borgir mould – than the others. Before the slower, chunking sections anyhow.
There are headbangers too. Check the rocking 4/4 of ‘End Of Days’, and the well toned solo in ‘The Great Catholic Collapse’. The piano texture in ‘Chaos Reigns’ is a welcome, if brief, break from all the thrusting snares and riffs – one suggestion I’d have for next time is perhaps much more clean guitar for the same reason.
Yet again, Mr Byrne has busted his ass to compose and produce (almost flawlessly, btw) a collection of crunching and atmospheri sci-fi metal tracks that have the atmosphere and pound of something otherworldly.
But also yet again, it’s a question of this needing trimming. I’m just going to say it: the eleven tracks here should have been seven. Not that four of them are less worthy than the others – they’re all of an equally high standard – but sonically it does get just a shade samey, no matter how cool it is.
It feels like nit picking, because there’s not a damn lot wrong with the music. That aspect remains incredibly impressive. It’s just that… well, life’s short… and eleven tracks these days is a massive ask.
Just something to bear in mind. Props nonetheless for another audio and atmospheric treat – no doubt at all there will be greater again to follow.
3.3 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 06/01/17
Sonus Mortis recently advertised on Metalireland. This has no bearing whatsoever on our editorial comment. MI tells you this. Other sites do not. You can trust MI.