Saddayah-“Apopheny of Life” review

Saddayah-"Apopheny of Life" review

Innovation is a plausible event at this point in the trajectory of Romania’s Deicide-inspired death-metal band Saddayah, but I’m not sure if it’s even needed. If they can constantly deliver the goods like they have with this first full-length, and sound like they’re having a whole lot of fucking fun doing so, then I just don’t see myself getting bored while listening to it.

For those who don’t know Saddayah, you should expect lots of heavy riffs, addictively catchy traps, a slight dose of brutality, and  harsh vocal assault. Saddayah serves both as a good band, with their accessible riffs, good production, and somehow definite vocals, and as an aggregate within the most elitist realms of true death metal. And “Apopheny of Life”is the best example of why Saddayah is such a great band.

The mix is clean and balanced, maybe a little too dry or polished in places, but this delivers clarity between the rhythms, leads, percussion, even the bass as it pops and thunders along, often using a lot of simpler, sustained keys  to give the sound a nice roundedness.

To prevent any doubts, let’s say it clearly: you will not find assumptive demonstrations of musical skills for the sake of itself. The band concentrates on the songs – and the results are good. “Apopheny of Life” combines crystal clear riffs with prudent acoustic tones; tracks like “8” are also mainly shaped by the (surprisingly straight) riffs. But Saddayah also insert innovative breaks that enrich the respective song without hurting its flow (“Born in Singularity”, for example). The song-writing mirrors the maturity that the band had achieved and it marks the main advantage of the album. The guitars sideline the vocals. Therefore, the voice remains pretty colorless but did not fail to put its stamp on the compositions. Except this minor flaw, the album is properly recorded. It does not lack strength or vitality.

Soon, ‘The Darkest Recess of the Human Mind’ starts, and low, guttural vocals start things off very nicely. They’re the kind of vocals that are nice and low, but not comic low like a lot of generic brutal death metal bands that sound like shit. After that comes a nice vocal superposition between the highest harsh vocals and the mid-range harsh vocals, and this is really a treat to hear. With those fantastic catchy mid paced riffs and good vocals, this simple but very effective song is the sum of the album. It’s a great catchy track that’s sure to bring a smile to the face of any death-metal fan.

The leads and solos here are actually very interesting. While certainly on the melodic side, leaning towards the Nevermore-influenced style implemented in later albums, the melodic nature never dominates the music, and I mean that in the most positive way. Quite often, death metal bands with a lot of melodic lead riffs like this let them dominate the music to the point where the actual death-metal part of the music is diluted to the point where it’s just dull and boring. Saddayah does not let that happen here!

There is a great variety in the riffing, for which several of the songs create a strong impression of profusion, those being the excellent “King’s Will”, “The Darkest Recess of the Human Mind”, “Mouth of the Abyss”, and the title track.

“Carving in the Stone Flesh of God” exits you through the final path of the release with a rolling (should I say groove?) riff that is damn catchy. It doesn’t soften any atmosphere. Guitars stream into the song with a stronger, fluid presence; driving the song forward. While this song will make you confirm that this is a notable band, Saddayah still crush a riff soaked track that is thick, frank and particular.

The artwork of this album is signed by the one and only Costin Chioreanu, the mastermind of the extreme metal design.

I’ve been as picky as possible in the hope of uncovering some weaknesses in this good album, though I’ve not being able to find any notable faults. If you like death metal even in passing, this album is going to make you happy indeed.

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