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Litrosis: I Am Death

Often debut albums can give you an insight into a band finding their feet and developing their own identity. And so it is with the debut album I Am Death from Greek extreme/epic metal five piece Litrosis. Mixing black metal with almost Gothenburg scene keyboards and symphonic themes, this is an album of grand intentions, only limited by the experience and lack thereof from the band themselves. That's not to suggest that Litrosis aren't skilled enough musicians to pull this off - they are. However the interesting ideas and tangents often thrown out can feel slightly under developed and not quite completely thought through.

As nearly every album does these days, I Am Death begins with a short introductory track (from which the band take their name) of "atmospheric" ambient noises, culminating in brooding brass instruments and choral voices. I Am Death begins proper with the slow-grind of "Insomniac's Lullaby", which through its near five minute length careens from keyboard infused black metal, into more languid latter day Iron Maiden bass noodling and some mightily impressive shred-fest guitar solos. The styles come and go, knocking into each other and jostling for supremacy, although in the end a dead-heat is called as the full-force growls of Vassilis become drowned by Eli's drums and the guitar blazing of Alex "Ad Ventus". From there "Soulcide" reigns things right in, with a frenetic classical guitar workout being backed by keyboards, before a rapid fire snare rattle sets things back into extreme territory. Even during these more frenetic passages, the keyboards remain, piling on the layers, but rather than add to the atmosphere, the constantly competing snare pounding, kick drum hammering, fret-widdling and keyboard slabs, just sound muddied and confused. A couple of more straight on black metal workouts whizz past, drums-sticks flailing and plectrums burning and while both "Countless Wounds" and "Burn The Sun" are decent blasts of extreme, they are in truth nothing too special.

A more refined, if no less frenetic power metal savvy appears for the title track and suddenly Letrosis hit their stride. The keyboards are less bolted on, infusing melody to the blistering riffs and vocal howls, before "Blood Red Plain" combines Children Of Bodom to Iron Maiden and Helloween to reasonably convincing effect. That the slow, restraint of "In The Grave You Go Alone" again follows in the leaden footed style of latter day Maiden, suffering in the same way as Steve Harris and the boys do by introducing deep dark atmospherics and forgetting to really take them anywhere. Then the classical strings of "Bury The Dead" seemingly closes the album out in a classy, if out of place manner. I say that seemingly closes the album, as we are then "treated" to a couple of minutes of silence, before a hidden acoustic guitar and keyboard instrumental pointlessly brings things to a conclusion. Why do bands do this?? Who do they think wants to sit around for a couple of minutes waiting for a track that, truth be told adds nothing to their album? I'm betting that after a first run through, people will just hit the stop button before this hidden number even gets going.

I Am Death is a promising album full of disparate ideas, brought together in a fashion that suggests that given time Litrosis may well have something extremely interesting to say. Unfortunately at this stage, it sounds more like a band rehearsing their lines, than one giving a commanding performance.

Track Listing
1. Litrosis
2. Insomniac's Lullaby
3. Soulcide
4. Burn The Sun
5. Countless Wounds
6. I Am Death
7. Blood Red Desert Plain
8. In The Grave You Go Alone
9. Bury The Dead

Added: May 12th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pitch Black Records
Hits: 1778
Language: english

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