Sonus Mortis [Ireland]
Propaganda Dream Sequence
The whole visual aesthetics of Sonus Mortis‘ debut full length album, Propaganda Dream Sequence is rather confusing – with the cover artwork being rather reminiscent of more punkish or thrashy death metal, and the font used for the band logo bearing more of a Swedish death metal vibe. Yet this Irish project is something that is rather different from what one would expect.
Album opener The Cyber Construct has a synth-driven intro, and to be honest, for a moment I half-expected an X Japan-styled J-metal riff to greet me. But instead, the first riffs hits the listener hard, and the heavy usage of the synths in creating such a beautiful atmosphere contrasted by the oppressive and crushing riffs by band mastermind Kevin gives a rather industrial tone to their style of death metal. One can’t help but be reminded of the heavy works of bands such as Behemoth or Hate at this instance, with that little touch of Fleshgod Apocalypse or Septicflesh through the usage of the synths.
The band does not forget the doom aspect of their music though. For the most part of the album, Propaganda Dream Sequence is a rather melancholic listening experience, and there are moments where one is brought back to the origins of doom-laden death metal of bands like My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost, albeit with a more modern production and with more synths (which I never complain about when nicely done like by Sonus Mortis). There are even moments where the band go into some slight progressive territory with their depressive rock/metal, bringing in some Opeth or Katatonia vibes as well, especially with the usage of clean vocals like on To Lament, Mourn and Regret.
The songwriting on Propaganda Dream Sequence is absolutely superb. While utilising the same style throughout the album, through the variation of the ways the tracks are executed, Sonus Mortis is able to capture the whole range of motion, from the dark and gloomy outlook that underlie many of the tracks, to the more haunting and ominous soundscape on moments such as title track Propaganda Dream Sequence.
Backed by a brilliant production, Sonus Mortis‘ debut is one hell of a stunning release, and one that will certainly please fans of the more organic, and death metal with that “human” touch.