An Eroticism in Murder
Progressive Death Metal
Steorrah hails from Germany, a land more associated with thrash metal such as Sodom, Kreator and Destruction. Unlike these bands, Steorrah plays progressive death metal, fusing music from all kinds of musical genres (ranging from classical music to progressive rock) into their brand of death metal. Sounds familiar? Read on then…
An Eroticism in Murder is Steorrah’s debut full length effort. Opening the album with a spoken track, the album soon begins proper with Arboretum. The first thing that catches my attention is the vocal style of vocalist Andreas, sounding extremely familiar to Mikael Akerfeldt. The Opeth influences on Steorrah’s music are extremely prominent and runs throughout the album, from the riffs used, to the transition between the songs (and within the songs), from heavy to the jazzy/proggy parts and vice versa, and how the lead guitar and the rhythm guitar lines intertwine with each other, and even the choice of vocal styles. For example, the opening guitar lines of Sindials reminded me of Opeth’s Porcelain Heart, off the Watershed album (the intro of the former vs the 6:10 onwards mark of the latter) Well, that apart from perhaps the number of tracks and the length of the songs on the album.
Being a fan of Opeth, this fortunately doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing. What is unfortunate, or should I say, an acquired taste for An Eroticism in Murder is the raw production quality of the album. The instruments all sound pretty thin, especially the guitar tone, which lacks the depth and growl that I am so used to, for a death metal album. Imagine Opeth’s Candlelight years albums, or more accurately, Watershed or Ghost Reveries, but with Orchid production quality.
It would certainly be unfair to totally put the band down to simple Opeth worship, for writing music that can be compared to Opeth definitely requires talent. The musicians are also not without merits, and are extremely well versed in their instruments and these can be heard through the execution of the songs, which are by no means simple feats and can in fact get pretty complex. In addition, one track that actually stood out from the rest of the album was track 7, Renaissance, a beautiful piano track, classically composed to display the virtuosity of drummer and pianist Christian.
To summarise simply what Steorrah’s debut sounds like, just imagine Opeth’s music but with a rawer edge to it. Fans of Opeth will probably end up just going back to listening to Opeth instead, and people who hate Opeth will probably not like this too.