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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Philosopher

Laws Ov Form

Review by Gary Hill

German band Philosopher bills themself as a “Lovecraftian Death Metal” band and they certainly fit that role with the works of H. P. Lovecraft playing a major part in virtually everything they do. That was how I got to know these guys (and included them in my book).Well, since the release of that tome, these guys have put out this EP which continues the tradition that their first two releases began. I’d have to say that while I really liked the earlier stuff a lot, I think this EP blows doors on what they’ve done earlier. This is a purely awesome piece of work. It may be short, but for fans of creepy sounding death metal is a major winner. It also serves as a great introduction to these guys. I should also mention that the disc includes a video of the final cut – a live performance. If your PC works like mine you have to explore the disc to find it, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Cycle of Myth
This one-minute cut (basically an instrumental) serves as an introduction to the disc. A killer dramatic, nearly symphonic piece of atmosphere with definite mysterious Eastern tones and some backwards tracked vocals (hence the “basically” part) create an intense sense of dread and wonder. I believe at least some of the instrumental tracks are also backwards tracked here. This piece might not be long, but it is quite an awesome work.
Skepticide (which itself equals the Pa)
These guys scream out from there (after a short backwards tracked continuation) into a furious frantic thrash with some exceptionally meaty guitar sounds. Half spoken growls come across as the lyrics on this track. Eventually it moves out into a guitar solo segment where angular lines come and go. This one is really a scorcher and is made more so by some great overtones later on. A horror movie type keyboard is introduced to the mix late in the piece and serves to eventually take it (unaccompanied) to its conclusion.
Thoughts (that open the void and are the void)
This one has a twisted angled approach to the riffing at first. It has less mysterious atmosphere than the previous two pieces, instead focusing on heavy shredding to make up the song. Still, when it moves out into the guitar solo based break there are layers of vocals woven over the top to create a pretty eerie effect. This one overall, though is a fairly straightforward stomper sure to get the crowd moshing. The slower paced break later is a serious scorcher and the cut turns toward barely controlled chaos from there. It even takes on a bit of a groove-oriented element later as the guitars continue to soar. Overall it’s quite a dynamic and potent piece of music.
Within Aeons (live track)
This is (as one would guess) a live rendition of a track from the earlier releases. This is a searing, furious slab of death. It’s amazing how clean this recording sounds. With this type of music one might expect a live recording to turn to mud, but this screamer is captured in fine audio fashion.
 
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