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Friday, September 17, 2021

Review: Two Face Sinner – Spiritual Nemesis

Label: Non Serviam Records

Date: April 24th, 2020

Right from the cover artwork I thought I could smell Belphegor. Not that it is much of a surprise because the Austrians’ impact on the South American scene is widely known. Similar to Dark Funeral, for instance, who never fail to mention the immense dedication and devotion of their fans from South America. And would you believe it? Two Face Sinner just happen to draw most of their influence from the mentioned bands.

“Spiritual Nemesis” is the third full length by the Peruvian quartet. The fact that it took them almost five years to complete it does turn an ear. Attention to details, especially in the songwriting process, is the key to releases which bring along a huge dose of brutality. And the Peruvians obviously paid enough attention. The only aspect in which they could learn a bit more from their European counterparts is the production. Though good and fairly clear, it lacks the bombastic impact the recent albums by Belphegor or Dark Funeral possess. Of course, a small band out of Peru will probably have a much more difficult time finding an expensive studio to perform the operation needed. Even if they do find it, will they be able to afford it? Probably not. Still, this kind of production ‘fault’ gives the album a bit of that South American crudeness and charm. So it shouldn’t be taken as a mistake. Rather as a point of future progress for the band.

But the rest is actually top-notch. And you will likely agree that it is the more important part anyway. Musically speaking, Two Face Sinner fuses death and black metal to perfection. Though the mentioned brutality is turned to the max, the Peruvian commando loses nothing in the magnificence of singular riffs. Lead guitar mesmerizes with dosage of creativity often completely forgotten on similar records. In that respect one can easily draw parallels to Dark Funeral. Belphegor’s overall weight of sound dominates throughout. However, Two Face Sinner offers a couple of unexpected twists and turns from time to time. For instance, “Chants of Hate” bears with it a lot of folklore influences, portrayed through an extreme metal prism. Uneven rhythmical display makes it even more intriguing and unusual, though still quite fitting to the whole. “God of the Masses” ends with a guitar solo that would have no place atop this level of aggression, had it not been so masterfully developed to close the track on a high note. Monumental, seven and a half minute long closing song “Mother Death” starts in a doom metal tradition which gently flows into extreme whirlwinds, only to close with another solo, similar in fashion to the above mentioned. All the while the rhythm section of the band guides the listener through the song. There are a couple more such “incidents”, but I guess your imagination is tickled enough.

Once upon a time, in a music industry far, far away there was constant talk of the third album being crucial to an act’s career. Now that the times have changed, it is nearly impossible to talk about some bigger impact any band could have on a scene. Or the third album as any sort of final chance of making it big. Two Face Sinner will most definitely not make it into any bigger music chart. Be that as it may, “Spiritual Nemesis” is an excellent record throughout. Absolutely worthy of wider attention. As their idols’ creative force may diminish over their advancing age, Two Face Sinner blows up and fills the eventual gap.