Sentient Horror – Rites of Gore

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Third album “Rites of Gore” from the New Jersey-based death metal act Sentient Horror proves to be finely honed by Matt Moliti (vocals, lead guitars), Jon Lopez (rhythm guitars), Tyler Butkovsky (bass) and Evan Daniele (drums). After releasing the sophomore “Morbid Realms” in 2019, the quartet is back with nine massive tracks. While there is plenty of old-school quality on the band’s third studio album, the Stockholm influences show a continuation of the same sound. Right from the start of the album Sentient Horror unleash its entire force of aggression setting a brute style that would make bands like Entombed and Dismember proud.

The opening track “A Faceless Corpse” displays menacing buzz saw guitars thundering against the pounding battery. The range of brutality is channeled through the massive HM-2 guitar distortion that incorporates the classic trademark of Swedish death metal. The solos tears you apart from limb to limb while this song appears to be slowed by multiple tempo shifts that seem to be all balanced by robust drumming the solid riffing erupts. The third album confronts the listener with relentless hostility all that to say, Sentient Horror managed to emphasize the range of pacing and the guitars are fully dynamic. “Obliteration of Souls” teases boisterous thrash metal riffing with the raw death metal riffs sounding heavy and aggressive the tempo comes abruptly through those speed lighting solos. The steamrolling drums are the backbone of such energetic songwriting prowess and while fans won’t be surprised by the frantic hostility of the growls, the drums deliver d-beat and occasional blasting sections.

Sentient Horror has mastered the sheer power of the Swedish style of death metal and the fact that they have left fans anticipating a return to action, the new album is loaded with fine brutality. This is why “Rites of Gore” is a powerful onslaught of aggression, the New Jersey quartet eschews the catchy melodies and hooks as they prefer to focus on diversity instead. The destructive burst of blast beats captures the old school modality of bands like Grave.Swamp Burial” is one of those tracks that sounds traditional and filthy. The most violent riffs are unleashed on “Rites of Gore” which is packed with memorable guitar lines and sinister rhythm. The roaring growls of Matt Moliti are fierce, the precision seems to be clinical boasted by the rampaging drums. Sentient Horror keeps it all simple and straightforward although the tempo deviates from one to another track “Rites of Gore” opens with a scathing rhythm section before the drums provide a frenzy and destructive tempo.

While many bands lack originality, the third album shows definite signs of novelty from the quartet, the songs are highlighted by the top-notch performance. The tight riffing and the pummeling drums create a powerful wall of sound and the effect of the HM-2 distortion is exuberant. The drums swagger from d-beat to powerful gallops and the solos always come at the perfect timing, the band holds true to the retro style of 90’s death metal yet still manages to deliver a sense of rawness.

Descend to Chaos” and “The Grave is My Home” redefine the methods of riffing but when it comes to full throttle the drums become rampant. The riffing is spot on with cannons of hellfire, Jon Lopez and Matt Moliti bombarding heavy death metal riffs, the other track combines double bass assault that is shrewdly employed by drummer Evan Daniel. In almost every track the drums provide a proper boost to the tempo before veering into grooves, the buzz saw tone of Tyler Butkovsky‘s bass guitar provides extra oomph to the songs. Moreover, you can hear some similarities to bands like Gatecreeper, particularly when the grooves and d-beat are injected into the sonic motion. Songs like “Till Death Do Us Rot” and “The Eyes of Dread” are viciously savage and loud as war cannons, there’s definitely no room for modern gimmicks in the band’s songwriting style and these two tracks contain sharp guitar riffs that could rip flesh from bone.

Though the band isn’t shy to show its deep influence from Entombed; the extra bonus track “Supposed to Rot” is one of the cover songs that carry the robust intensity and fits the original track. “Rites of Gore” is one of the best death metal albums I’ve heard this year and I absolutely recommend this to fans of Swedish death metal.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 8/10
8.2

“Rites of Gore” is the most aggressive and brutal outcome by the band, the songs are loaded with classic trademarks. Sentient Horror songwriting abilities have been reinforced by the overwhelming brutality.

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