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Label: Souls of Underworld Records / Frozen Screams Imprint / Metal Age Productions

Date: January 7th, 2022

It always makes me so happy when a band is not adamant on how they do not sound like their influences, but they have their own distinctive style which is not the same as their predecessors. Of course, most of the time, these statements turn out empty and meaningless. In other words, they mean that they sound exactly like millions of others and are one step away from being a tribute band.

Symbtomy proudly state they are performing an old school, “HM-2” death metal. In their particular case, they fail in becoming a tribute band by creating their own songs. Simple as that. They use the music style to the full and just produce the songs that are not Dismember’s or of any other Swedish great. Plus, they are awesome! All three of them. As the three off their previous demo were. Simply amazing pieces of old styled death metal in twenty first century.

I mean, I could literally just copy and paste my review of “Demo #1”. Just switch the names of tracks. And the guests, of course, since this is likely the largest growth when it comes to Symbtomy between the two releases. This time they’ve got a slightly more famous guest stars. Rick Rozz, John Walker and Max Otero.

Other than that, this quintet, split between United Kingdom and Czech Republic, keeps to the path lit up on the first recording. It’s the melodic but still pretty brutal death metal, mostly Swedish in origin, but with touches of European darkness. Throughout the seventeen and a half minutes, you get those rusted, nasty riffs, massive “hooks”, cholesterol surge of the fat bass line, surgical drumming and the three voices adorning the crypts of mass graves.

“Cadaveric Shapeless Roar” has some sampling as well. Nothing new or unused in the genre of course, but it ever did sit well when properly placed, like it is on this demo. Plus, the oldest trick in the book, that sound of a shotgun load. It might be heard before, many times, but it still induces the desired goal.

Last but most definitely not the least, take a close look to that masterpiece that is the front cover. Again, done in the utterly classic old style, but such a sight for the rotten eyes of the conscripted. Bow down to the master, Mr. Jakub N. Rusek.

So, when you read all of this, what do you think about Symbtomy? Do you go for the traditional: “Oh, another band with nothing new to offer”? Well, you can revel in the 1980’s and 1990’s all you want. Spin those old records to infinity and beyond. It’s the same old story of how those were the golden decades and metal has died with the new millennium.

But the truth remains that metal is not dead. Old metal faces the new age proudly, while spitting in the face of those who are “true to traditions”. Symbtomy are the definite proof of that. A new band with old tricks, locked and loaded to shoot your ignorance dead.


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