Tagged as modern thrashers and sounding like the exhilarating offspring of Static X meets Bloodsimple, Italian band Sawthis unleash one of the year’s highlights in the corrosive riveting storm of Youniverse. An unrelenting and breath-taking tempest of sonic intensity and exhausting predation, the eleven track release simply leaves the senses and passions raging for its predation. Not arguably ground-breaking but thoroughly refreshing and explosively incendiary, this is one album that all thrash fans should add to their personal playlists.
Formed in 2000, the Teramo hailing quintet bred their sound on the inspirations of the likes of Soilwork, Machine Head, Slipknot, Metallica, Testament, and Pantera. Debut album Fusion emerged in 2003 receiving very positive responses from media and fans. This was followed by an extensive time of shows which saw the band alongside the likes of Destruction, Anathema, Sybreed, Impaled Nazarene, Extrema, Sadist, Necrodeath, and Assassin. Their live performances consistently added to the stature of and acclaim upon the band; further appearances with Lacuna Coil, Entombed, Shaman, and Konkhr to name a few only cementing their reputation. Second album Egod appeared in 2009 via Scarlet Records, again to strong reception and followed by more intensive gigs and tours, this time with bands such as The Haunted, Primal Fear, Bulldozer, Cattle Decapitation, God Dethroned, and Sepultura last year. Released through Bakerteam Records, Youniverse is the next step to world awareness and domination, its aim you suspect destined to success.
A conceptual album focused on the theme of multiple personality disorder, Youniverse immediately tests thoughts and synapses with The Logical Color. Rhythms splinter bone from the opening second with deep drilling riffs a muscular companion. It is an attention gripping entrance which only explodes to greater heights as the two protagonists extend their rabidity to further heights and the vocals of Alessandro Falà scorch the air with his vocal squalling, every syllable intense and malevolently sculpted but forcibly engaging like the sounds around him. Ensuring escape is futile the song relaxes into a tantalising embrace, the guitars of Adriano Quaranta and Janos Murri gnawing the senses whilst offering new mystique to the blistering encounter whilst the vocals also offer a more respectful and mellow if still an intimidating and commanding lilt. The track is a scintillating introduction, varied and adventurous but deliciously predatory from start to finish.
The following fury of The Waking Up is equally rapacious and magnetic, the beats of Michele Melchiorre building an irrepressible trap whilst his vocals slip perfectly and potently alongside those of Falà, their at times dual attack an exceptional driving force for the riveting inventive sounds. The bass of Gaetano Ettorre also creates a sinew clad prowl which menaces and tempts like a stalking beast within the torrent of intensity and energy surrounding its intent. It is another towering song continuing the immense start and soon matched by both The Voice Falls On Me and The Disturbed. The first has an insidious breath and air certainly around the vocals but tempers it with a melodic fire reminding of In Flames whilst its successor which features Rob Cavestany from Death Angel, simultaneously sears and smoulders within the ear whilst weaving melodic and vocal temptation that leaves the passions alight and guitar enterprise which spawns burning tendrils of sonic enterprise to seduce without mercy.
Through all the tracks the album deepens its hook within the emotions breeding a hunger which dares Youniverse to fail their need. No such realisation is forthcoming as the likes of The Indelible, a track which swings seamlessly from carnivorous intensity to seductive melodic flaming, The Impure Soul with its creeping twisting sonic vines of excellence within a ferocious yet carefully trained consumption, and The Spotlight only increase the dramatic strength and torrential imaginative lure of the release. The last of the three finds an extra growl and rawer presence to its caustic provocation, though melodic and harmonic exploration is only a deep breath away and soon merging into the turmoil with enchanting toxicity.
Before departing the album ensures the listener is left a wasted blissful wreck through the corrosively contagious tempest that is The Mad and the hellacious beauty of The Switch, both tracks stretching the passions and boundaries of the album further. Earlier we said that there was debatably nothing unique about Youniverse which was true except that as tracks like this and the closer, The Walking exploit the rapture seeded, it is hard to remember many others stalking the same routes as Sawthis. The final song is no slouch in whipping up the senses and satisfaction either, its rampaging stomp another blaze of sonic venom and melodic adventure wrapped in creative savagery.
Produced by Paolo Ojetti (Infernal Poetry) with the band, Youniverse is a massive war of pleasure and enthrallment, a release which takes Sawthis to the upper echelons of new metal, and without doubt another album to add to the growing pool of serious contenders for album of the year.
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