Death Awaits – Solve Coagula

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Sliptrick Records
Released: April 14, 2017 (Europe) / July 23, 2017 (USA)

Band line-up:

Solve CoagulaFlo: Vocal
Damien: Guitar
Jordan: Guitar
Fred: Drum
Thomas: Bass

Track list:

Enclosed in Booth
Brainless
Never Give Up The Fight
Don’t Look Back
Give Me Your Ferver
The Man Dressed In Black
My Own Blood
Loose Your Faith
Unseen Tomorrow
Turn Off Hope

Review:

Riff face; that’s what everything I’m about to say boils down to. The compulsion to down turn your mouth and screw up your face as though there’s an undesirable smell coming your way. I caught myself with severe riff face several times during my initial listen to this album, and right off the bat, that’s a good sign. The sign of an insidiously catchy and heavy release.

Death Awaits are a Death Metal band from Lyon, France. Now, while in years gone by this may have raised a few eyebrows among all but the most thorough metal spelunkers, there’s no longer much excuse for being in the dark. France is quickly becoming known for being a prime export of monstrously groovy extreme metal of many stripes. With the release of their third album, Solve Coagula, these guys are clearly setting out to prove their homeland’s reputation.

Throughout the ten tracks presented there is a lot of high-level musicianship, with the occasional Gorodesque lead line and thrashing grooves littered all over. There’s a litany of influences on display here, and as a result, a record that shoots straight down the middle of a variety of subgenres, without overusing the tropes of any one of them. It also makes for a pretty consistent listen. There aren’t really any weak tracks here, but neither are there any that particularly stand out. This isn’t an especially black mark against the album, however, because there are plenty of passages that are exciting enough to make the album engaging as a whole. It holds up to and is arguably improved by multiple listens.

When stacked up against previous albums, Solve Caligula is somewhat of a departure. There is less of a brutal death metal feel in almost every aspect, and this works mostly to the positive. While occasional similarities to bands like Benighted can be drawn, it feels less like they’re chasing the tails of these more brutal bands than it has in the band’s prior output. Despite this, the album has a heavier sound due to tighter songwriting and has a clearer sense of focus and identity overall.

I can see Solve Coagula in my regular rotation for some time to come, and if Death Awaits continue to develop their sound further down this road, I hope to see them gaining a lot more attention in the European Death Metal gig Circuit.

Review by Lewis May
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