The Asian metal scene is still a relatively untapped and certainly unrecognised landscape in the awareness of the majority on the outside, this despite the impressive bands and releases springing from it over the years. Through the fine efforts and passions of bands and labels/PR companies like Transcending Obscurity, a few things deservedly escape the shadows to earn strong attention and draw new ears and appetite to the region’s mighty underground scene. One such offering is the striking new album, Perversion Swallowing Sanity, from Indian death metallers Third Sovereign. It is an explosive thrash fuelled incitement bred from old school seeds of death metal blossomed into something as intensely fresh as it is enjoyably nostalgic, and another example of the potency within India’s metal scene as Third Sovereign back up to the legendary status they carry in their homeland and surrounding areas.
Formed in 2003 by a trio of musicians from Aizawl, the capital of the state of Mizoram, after they moved to Delhi “in order to expand their horizons”, Third Sovereign quickly earned a reputation for their bold and pungent take on death metal. Inspiration to their sound comes from the time bands such as Sepultura, Monstrosity, Cannibal Corpse, and Vader were the prime death metal driven scourges on the senses. 2006 saw the release of debut EP Horrified Visions with their acclaimed first album, Destined To Suffer uncaged the following year, as its predecessor upon Demonstealer Records. The Deprived Serenity EP continued the attention capturing success of the album with its release in 2008, whilst the single Sarcophaga was nominated in the Best Metal Song category at the Rolling Stones Metal Awards a year later. Leaping on to the now and the band is ready to unveil second album Perversion Swallowing Sanity, a release sure to ignite the most potent range of acclaim and spotlights on the band yet.
Aizawl based again, Third Sovereign intrigue the imagination with opening introduction Sakei Ai Hla, voices in threat or calling, hard to know, leading the listener towards and into the brewing tempest of Grave of Humanity and an irritable climate of intimidating riffs and towering intensity. A few moments more and the track is rampaging with thick spicy grooves entwining thumping rhythms and rabid riffs. As vocalist Vedant prowls proceedings with his grizzly guttural tones, thrash bred fuel flows to incite and power the increasingly gripping provocation masterly coloured by guitarist Benjamin and given compelling bulk by bassist Jonah within Reuben’s skeletal rhythmic frame.
Demonic and fiercely enticing, the excellent opener makes way for the incessant violation and nagging persuasion of Sarcophaga; the track a tempestuous onslaught as bestial as it is creatively endearing. Spiralling grooves and sonic imagination light the smothering weight of heavy riffs and brutal rhythms, their union a vicious contagion unafraid to spew toxically bracing tendrils of melodic enterprise.
Both Living This Hate and Slaughtered Mankind descend on the senses with nostril flared and muscles merciless; the first a barbarous consumption of ears littered with psyche gripping hooks and fiery grooves carrying as much venom as the bruising menacing around them. Addiction is as swift as an appetite for the quartet’s intrusive rabidity of sound and ideation, its successor showing this an achievement working across the board of Perversion Swallowing Sanity with its fierce animus of sound and hungry intensity.
From the waspish and predatory trespass of Devolution of Mortality and the more controlled predation guided prowl of Spawned with Guilt, band and album squeeze their grip on ears and thoughts tighter. Through their own individually truculent designs, the pair find a mutual savage beauty and character to threaten and enthral, theirs a murderous seduction emulated in the skilfully sculpted and emotionally untamed Holocaust of Preaching. The track is outstanding with its grooves, as in its predecessors, essential lures backed by the nimble and scorching prowess of the guitar and the merciless uncompromising tempting of rhythms and vocals.
There is no denying that Third Sovereign songs are as anthemic as they are vehemently hellacious; captivating incitements as ready to tear out your soul as incite an uprising. The insidiously hued Dark Black is crawling pervasive proof, working its way under the skin to ignite the passions into a greedy lusting for more before the military seeded rhythmic emergence of Burnt Epitome draws the listener into one final invigorating storm of raw malice and virulent death metal tenacity.
It is an immense end to an outstanding release from a band deserving the fullest attention. Third Sovereign is prime example of the depth within Indian metal alone; one of the leading forces we all need in our metal lives.
Perversion Swallowing Sanity is released January 15th via Transcending Obscurity India @ https://transcendingobscurityindia.bandcamp.com/album/perversion-swallowing-sanity-death-metal or http://tometal.com/
Pete RingMaster 15/01/2016
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