‘You want something technical?’ he says. ‘Listen to Sophicide’ he says. Asshole. And Adam Laszlo, if you’re reading this then you sir, are also an asshole for releasing this monstrosity to begin with. What began as an exploration of an impressive debut led to a second jaw-dropping moment as I realised the man behind it. When I say ‘it is Laszlo’s brainchild,’ I don’t just mean he wrote it, I mean he then recorded every blast beat and fill, every guitar solo, every bass note and every guttural vocal. On his home studio. At the age of 22. People with a decades experience on him would struggle to perform one of these instruments so competently and my mind can only conclude he suffers from some dreadful obsessive compulsive disorder because this shouldn’t be possible. Oh, and he has a very small penis, just because it makes me feel a bit better about myself.
Despite a name that sounds like he wants to kill everyone named “Sophie,” the music is actually very much more focused on the death of intellectualism (I suspect the “Sophi” might actually short for sophistication); the plague of a sense of complacency and contentedness that allows us to fixate on celebrity talent shows, lapping up what’s thrown our way and bumbling through life never seeking to improve ourselves, and it’s here that religion finds itself very much in the firing line. It’s a rather fitting theme given the incredible complexity at which things proceed and I can’t help but get the impression he practised what he preached, constantly going back and thinking to himself “not fast enough, not brutal enough, not technical enough,” constantly going back and throwing in more riffs, more fills, more time signatures, and then desperately trying to play it fast enough such that what could have easily been a 10 minute progressive metal epic becomes a 4 minute Tech Death track. Don’t let the 45 minute run time fool you, there’s more than enough here to sink your teeth into.
Now this is all commendable but there are times where, because of this constant high pace, tracks begin to blur, and whilst there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, a greater contrast to the chaos could only serve to improve the weaker passages. Especially when we actually consider those brief passages themselves where he does return us to calmer waters; acoustic melodies and folk-like instrumentals littered about as a prelude to the chaos we’ve become accustomed, he proves that he doesn’t need to play quickly to sound sinister. The drums manage to accentuate the piece but add little in their own right, and the vocals, too, can feel a little monotonous. Often demonstrating a deep and roaring ‘Corpsegrinder’ aggression, it serves as a perfect demonic aesthetic but offers up little more significant and makes comprehending the lyrics that much more difficult, but fortunately none of this ever really feels like a problem as it all feels like a complementary vehicle for the stellar guitar work.
Let me emphasise that I am a hard man to please, yet for all my minor qualms with this release none feel at all relevant when the guitars go into overdrive. Throwing out almost as many riffs per song as other artists manage in an album, they all feel perfectly suited, melding into the tracks framework creating a melodious groove within the anarchy, and even these riffs pale in comparison to when the solo’s strike. Enough raw attack in his tone to retain a strong sense of brutality yet clean enough to make every tapped note resonate loud and clear; fast enough to make your ears bleed yet retaining enough sense of melody to make you swoon. That he’s struck a balance so close to perfection is nothing short of mesmerising. Make no mistake about it, he’s consistently managed to pen some of the best solo’s I’ve ever heard and for this reason alone you should be paying attention, because at this rate, it won’t be long before he’s mentioned along side the genres greats. Easily one of the best debut efforts to grace my ears this year.
Highlights: Perdition Of The Sublime, Freedom Of Mind, Lafayette’s Deception
About the Author
Position: Reviewer, Ranter, Reluctant Co-Editor
Location: London, England
Genre Preferences: Progressive, Avant-Garde, Experimental, Technical, Djent, Trad, Black
Favourite Artists: Adagio, Anthem, Baroness, Chthonic, Death Angel, Decadence, Fjoergyn, Gargoyle (Jpn), Haken, Kalevala, Leprous, Lucifugum, Pin-Up Went Down, Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, Project Hate MCMXCIX, Redemption, Sigh, Sikth, Tesseract, Thy Catafalque, Von Hertzen Brothers, Zigoku Quartet
Having held an internet presence using this alias for over a decade now, odds are if you've come across the name in the past it was myself. As for my musical history I suppose it's appropriate to say I arrived on my obsession backwards, for years holding little more than disdain and derision for a genre so seemingly obsessed with pointless brutality over composition; the likes of Deftones, Korn and Slipknot that serves as an introduction for so many flooding my musical palette, deterring my interests and yielding my only interpretation of what the genre involved. Ironically, it was Cannibal Corpse's “Vile” that first corrected me; played at high volume at a youth club by an elder metal fan angrily pushing the bleeding ears of the Green Day fans away from the stereo. I left that day clutching borrowed copies of Children of Bodom's “Hatebreeder,” the aforementioned Cannibal Corpse album, Metallica's “Cunning Stunts” on VHS and a whole new musical interest.
Arriving at a number of forums, I soaked up knowledge like a sponge, progressing through the stages of opinionated idiot to an arrogant elitist on a crusade before finally calming down, chronicling the last four years of my journey of discovery with self-published reviews. In the decade since my initial discovery, my tastes have mellowed and expanded to encompass most of the metal genre and beyond, constantly in search of something new and exciting, always seeking to expand my own musical knowledge. Black Metal with a Didgeridoo? Death Metal Disco? Trance Metal? Sign me up. I also have a strange obsession regarding the music of Asia, but I can't explain that one.
I have long since devoted far too much of my time writing - much to the amusement of my family who note the science-obsessed child now does far more writing than the English Lit. student - and have been self-publishing reviews since 2008; archives of music reviews can be found here and Film can be found here, though since joining Axis both have largely become defunct. I'm a keen globetrotter and, too, document my travels here, on an old blog originally designed to publish a novel that was abandoned due to time constraints.