Saturday, November 22, 2008

SOTHIS - De Opresso Liber CD review

SOTHIS - De Opresso Liber CD
Candlelight Records

There's a rule in the music business concerning success, if something sells then find more just like it. Now as far as mainstream Black Metal goes, bands like DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH and to some extent SATYRICON are big sellers to certain Metal fan demographics. So any intelligent record executive who likes his or her job is going to find bands that are similar to what is selling. And we're not just talking about style or sound since any good producer can take a decent band who's willing to work hard and make em into a great one. But there's the "look" so one day you're wearing stuff from the second hand store. The next you've got a clothing allowance from Hot Topic and endorsements from foot wear companies.

So here we have SOTHIS who, according to a line I read from the Candlelight Records site, are "the next big black metal band". This Los Angeles, California five piece play Symphonic Black Metal which is based on the Norwegian style template. The band has been around since 1999 so anyone thinking that they're Black Metal band wagon jumping scum would be wrong. In 2004 they released a four song CD which caught the ears of someone at Candlelight Records. They've got the look of an Americanized DIMMU BORGIR. And after checking them out on Youtube. I'd say their years of playing on the Sunset Strip have payed off with an impressive stage presence.

To the band's credit this CD sounds great as in corpse paint by the numbers polished perfection. The band's singer Drogoth has a decent sounding harsh vocal style. Their Keyboardist Asperia, a big breasted corpse painted babe, leads the band's sound by layering each song with plenty of synthesizer. Although guitarists Scathe and Nylock are geared toward riffing you through the grim path that's accented with an orchestral backdrop. Plenty of blast beating provided by their drummer Dross and thunderous bass lines from Keres. Former KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy LaRocque is responsible for the production. Oh and one more important thing to mention. Those are very close to the same words I had written about another new Symphonic Black Metal band from the U.S this year.

I'm not saying that SOTHIS sat down one day and decided to clone themselves after DIMMU BORGIR or CRADLE OF FILTH. It's just that the Symphonic Black Metal genre is very constrained when it comes to expanding on the theme. Comparisons to others are going to be inevitable. Especially if your promotional tool is geared toward the Hot Topic shoppers. Those people don't mind bands being ordinary. They just wanna buy a t-shirt especially if it has the CD cover art on it.

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