Solem Vatem

March 7, 2018


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The Pitch: Raleigh, Nc based progressive deathcore unit Krosis release their latest full length and Unique Leader debut, Solem Vatem. Featuring guest spots from members of Vulvodynia, Kadinja, and The Last Ten Seconds Of Life. FFO: Born Of Osiris, Within The Ruins, Entheos

What I Like: "Show me what you gooooot!" Rick and Morty references...I'm still game for that. Krosis clearly have a sense of humor, but this audio sample from "God Rays" also rings true in terms of how damn "shwifty" this album is. Solem Vatem has a similar ear as Born of Osiris when it comes to fusing groove-heavy deathcore with eclectic synth work. The band can get downright brutal as with the crushing Vulvodynia-assisted breakdown on "Apathos Vacant," but also stand apart from many traditional deathcore acts in terms of overall execution. Whereas BoO tends to have a very dramatic, punchy symphonic sound, Krosis are more focused on crafting a truly progressive journey.

Synth additions are lush and atmospheric in nature. Various styles of simulated bells, xylophones, and marimba take precedence over traditional piano or orchestral sounds. It's a veritable carnivale of sonic expression ranging from heavy-but-playful tracks like "Emigrate" to the Animals As Leaders-flavored "God Rays." Speaking of the latter, the emphasis on jazz interludes adds an extra layer of intrigue and technicality; so much so that Krosis often cross the line from deathcore to straight progressive death metal. This is at least partially due to Brian Krahe's impressive bass additions on the aforementioned "God Rays" as well as "Buoyancy." Give that man more solos.

Critiques: So look, I greatly enjoy this album, but I have one gripe that simply cannot be ignored. There is A LOT of generic open chugging from the rhythm guitar. It's to the point that it distracts from otherwise interesting and often innovative instrumentation. I'm actually reminded of the theatrical cut of the original Blade Runner. The producers forced Ridley Scott to tack on a terrible narration because they thought audiences would be too stupid to get it. Similarly, it seems as if Krosis made an awesome album and then someone said, "Nope, not enough djent. The kids, they love the djent. Moar chugs please." I'm fine with binary riffs, but roll them into the compositions more a la Car Bomb or Letters To The Colony. I'd also ditch the spoken work parts and think that the clean vocals could use a little work. They're a welcome addition stylistically, but the execution is a bit clunky.

The Verdict: Solem Vatem is an impressive album that is heavy and crunchy enough for the deathcore fans, but technically proficient enough for the progressive death metal crowd. Compositions are strong, even if there is sometimes an overreliance on backing chug. and performances are strong across the board. I had never heard of Krosis prior to this abum, but they can certainly count me as a fan now.

Flight's Fav's: Emigrate, Apathos Renaissance, Immolation Fist

-Review by FlightOfIcarus

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