Technical Death Metal, but not ANY technical death metal.
Solium Fatalis is a band of many faces: Genetically Engineered to Enslave is their fourth album, but in their previous albums they had people like Dirk Verbeuren (drums, Megadeth, Aborted, Soilwork, Cadaver, between MANY others), Kevin Talley (drums for Six Feet Under, Misery Index, and many other as well), Olivier Pinard (Cattle Decapitation, Neuraxis and bass for Cryptopsy) and the mythic drummer Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy).
That said you now they are not amateurs. But now their lineup is: Jeff DeMarco (vocals), Jim Gregory (guitars), Ryan Beevers (guitars), Jeff Saltzman (drums).
Genetically Engineered to Enslave presents a strange mix of Technical Death Metal and Melodic Death Metal, but never freezing in one or other style. It’s fast, but just enough to make enough kind of noise, and it’s groovy, but just enough to make the songs understandable.
A master stroke, this album is highly intense with the guitar riff mingling with the drums like in the track A Tongue to Taste the Collapse.
But there are marvelous (I mean it) soloing in tracks like the KK Downing-inspired lead in the track Synthon, or the pure craziness of Servile, or even the melodic solo a la Malmsteen in Fiery the Angels Fell. Yes, they are that kind of crazy. However, everything falls in noisy harmony here.
There are missteps too like in the track A Gathering of Storms. The tune and the riff are really good and I daresay is the only earworm of the entire album. But the vocals of Haydee Irizarry are the kind of American-groovy-female-vocals if you get what I’m saying. I mean, they REALLY needed a European girl singing in this one to show something different. It’s like they said to the girl: sing what you like, and she did and the result was a metalcore vibe that is unwanted in this great album. But I repeat, it’s not bad, it’s just strange.
There are really crazy and technical songs like the opener Threshold, and the second song Lake of Extinction.
The greatness of this album lies in the equilibrium it offers between tracks, being heavy as hell, sometimes fast, sometimes not, but always maintaining the cohesive factor which I haven’t listened to in a band for a while.
Genetically Engineered to Enslave is out now and it is self released.
(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)