Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Review: Symbtomy – Demo #1

Label: Frozen Screams Imprint / Immortal Souls Productions

Date: September 9th, 2020

Wow! A new band that actually doesn’t go for a full length album straight up front! Or calls its debut demo recording an EP! And has it released on tape, no less! Holy hell, this thing reeks of old school! If you were a tape trader back in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, this one will be such a delight! Starting from the layout with black etching on white background and old typewriter font.

However, when it comes to music, it is a slightly different story. It’s not that it doesn’t tread the old school path, since it is obvious where this trio comes from. Fact is that some contemporary touches are present within the demo. I’m not just speaking about the production which luckily transcends the inaudible charm of the demos of old. Let me try and explain.

Symbtomy performs traditional Swedish form of death metal. Plain and simple. Still, if you choose to delve a bit deeper, the Czechs implement some hints of the XXI century tendencies of the genre. Their death metal is as melodic as it is brutal. Just as this style of music demands. Majority of these melodies do draw connotations with the old masters. Dismember, Entombed, Grave, early Tiamat… These obscure sounds are executed to the letter, as the genre dictates. Of course, you shouldn’t think of recycled riffing or arrangements. Symbtomy is quite capable of delivering their own ideas to the old school ground. And they do it well enough.

On the other hand, there are moments where these melodic parts take from the later era Swedish titans like In Flames or Dark Tranquility. You should know what I’m talking about here. Those “spacey” melodic implementations. However, these are a minority. And they do not take anything away from the demo itself. These pieces are not overly sweet and sensitive as most bands swimming in this ocean tend to make them. Symbtomy fit them just right.

Another notable addition to the demo is the keyboard “intermission” in “… And the Knife Cut Surgically”. Eerie sounding it, once again, fits perfectly to the atmospheric aura of the demo.

By the way, the ending to the same track takes a slight turn to black metal. Dark Funeral (yes, again with Sweden) sounds about right in this regard.

Simply put, if you are on a constant prowl for the new names on the old Swedish death metal ground, you must not miss Symbtomy. While “Demo #1” is not a shooting star, with the creative capabilities of the trio and their apparently correct, old school mindset, I can easily see them going places in the future. So, go and hunt the demo down. Don’t make the mistake of not owning the first press demo when Symbtomy makes it to the big league.

P. S. To sweeten the deal, the demo features the voices of Wombbath, Interment and Revel In Flesh.