Album Review: The Phobos/Deimos Suite – Serocs

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Serocs is one of the elite technical bands I have been following for a while. Serocs transformed from being a one-man project to being an international collaboration to form a complete band. They are mainly inspired from the legendary technical death metal band Spawn of Possession along with the wicked Cryptopsy, which brings huge delight to me along with high standards of expectation. Fans like me ache for intense and intricate technical death bands like Spawn of Possession and Necrophagist, who left their huge impact on the genre, and then died/disbanded, leaving fans in disbelief.

A few months before this review, along with a teaser, Serocs announced they will be releasing a new album. Naturally I was intrigued, I was ready for anything from them. Serocs’ past releases have been really good, but always left me with the impression that there is potential for more, which would give them the exposure and fan base they should have. Their previous release was ‘And When the Sky Was Opened’ that was released in 2015.

With this new release Serocs is now definitely a first-class must have band for all technical death metal fans. Naturally, like their predecessors, they made it powerful, energetic, complex and mind-boggling. Serocs, along with announcing ‘The Phobos/Deimos Suite’, released their first single ‘SCP-106’, and damn did they step up their game this time. They have now added a flavour of unexpected brutality missing in their prior releases, which fit perfectly in their music style. I decided to listen the full album and obviously, I was blown away. The album has 10 songs, composed over many years (2008-2018). It also features stunning art by Nicola Samori, very reminiscent of historic works by celebrated artists like Da Vinci and Michelangelo. The art features a man who seems to be losing his face into sand, an image which works very well with the kind of music Serocs created.

Listeners should be prepared for a barrage of needling razor-sharp riffs under brutal roaring vocals. The twangy bass is prominent in the mix along with a foundation of outstanding drum work. Every instrument and the vocals stand out uniquely together, which is quite rare in this genre. All members are in full form and there is superb harmony in the composition of the instruments, working together to pummel the listener like an earthly beast. The album is like a crazy hurricane, pulling the listener into a vortex of extreme soundscapes. The band members marshal uncontrolled instrumental pyrotechnics into a controlled form. Oddly enough, the band also sounds like they are freestyling, making it complex to recognize the path their song is taking.

Although the band chose a great technical formula, it can sometimes can get monotonous for the listener. Still, Serocs packs the album full of tasty riffs and instrumental passages. Grooves are embedded into every song and are rarely repeating, transforming and constantly changing. It is hard to not headbang to every one of them.

Most of the tracks are hard to tell apart. Thus, the album flows and fits neatly together. The short beautiful ambient track ‘Lethe’ in the middle provides momentary relief before being drawn back into the madness that is this album. The final lengthy track ‘Deimos’ is their magnum opus, quite similar to an experimental odyssey by Spawn of Possession, with Serocs own unique style which they are shaping.  I highly recommend my favourite track ‘SCP-106’ to get a taste of the album, the intro is just fantastic along with pounding vocals, dashing technical riffs and highly enjoyable beats in the end.

Along with the magnificent art, the modern crisp production is commendable, and it does complete justice to all elements of the album. Clocking at about 47 minutes, the length of the album is just perfect. It seems the band almost left no stone unturned to make an entertaining slab of music for the technical death metal fan. Even though it seems that the band did not put them on purpose, I felt that the album could use some more hyper speed shredding guitar solos, however the band makes up for it in the other departments. I absolutely loved the newly added dash of brutality with the vocals and stellar production.

This masterpiece is definitely one of the best death metal albums of 2018. It shall be released on Everlasting Spew Records, a great record label with a roster of many good releases. You can find and buy the album here –

https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-phobos-deimos-suite

Rating 5/5. (Too bad I can’t give it a higher rating. Go buy this already)

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