Swedish act Sodomisery has some well-established players from the Stockholm scene at the helm which was originally started as a studio project by Harris Sopovic where a self-titled EP was released in 2017. Step forward to 2020 and the band has become a fully-fledged act playing live as a quartet with ex-band members from Diabolical and Smothered to name a couple.

Favouring a more blackened death metal approach the band injects reams of melody into their songs, yet retaining a harsher guitar tone than one would normally expect in the genre. Indeed the opener ‘Reapers Key’ has strong hints of Dissection due to the riffing style and melody but instead of ploughing the black metal genre the band inserts a deathly guise via the drum work and density. ‘Into The Cold’ is more death metal based as the tuneful opening adopts a melodic death metal style that has facets of Hypocrisy about it. The shift in riffing focus brings about the black metal credentials as the sharp clinical edge to the guitar sound had me thinking about Keep of Kalessin.

The opening riff to ‘Sacrifice’ is awesome, a piercing bone brittling hook that is supremely catchy as the Keep Of Kalessin touches are more obvious here; well to me anyway. There is so much to absorb on this release that you will hear something new each time as ‘In The Void’ begins with an eerie guitar melody producing an atmospheric ethos with the slower pace that is unfurled. As the drum beat creates a doomy funereal aura the song quickly swerves into the blackened onslaught but without blasting at this stage. The neat double kick pattern that floods into the song was unexpected but really cool. As the title track follows with its slightly longer duration the song has a depressive edge due to the guitar tone and hook even though the drum work is far from slow. The atmospherics channel into the vocal style too where the intonations are purposeful as each syllable is uttered with malice and poignancy equally, which may be a contradiction to some but you’ll understand when you listen to the album.

An acoustic opening to ‘Until They Burn’ continues the atmospheric charging this album displays and works well to section the latter half third of the album where a melancholic riff expands with sorrowful intent. The pacing is slow as expected as the drifting despondency intensifies via cascading double kick that drenches the song, leaving only ‘Arise’ as the albums main closing song before an outro called ‘The Abyss’. ‘Arise’ returns the album to blackened fury where the blast has a chaotic style before a fine riff break and change in tempo. As it evolves it diverts into a stop-start riffing style that is catchy, like much of the album as the blasting returns to reassert the bands deathly credentials.

The marrying of blackened fury with deathly destruction doesn’t get much better than this as Sodomisery release a superb album rife with emotion, saturated in power and drenched in technical dexterity.

(8.5/10 Martin Harris)