Sober Truth – Psychosis

Less than a handful of months in and 2019 is already looking like it could go down as a major year for startling releases. Adding to the growing reasons why we are suggesting that possibility is the new album from German metallers Sober Truth. It is a snarling, writhing tempest of the band’s already individual progressive groove metal but has breached a whole new expanse of varied sound driven by an imagination living a up to its title; in short Psychosis is one dramatically thrilling engagement.

Formed in 2007, Siegburg hailing Sober Truth has established themselves as one of Europe’s most intriguing propositions across a trio of previous albums starting with Riven in 2009. The quartet has grown and nurtured their presence and reputation release by release but fair to say major spotlights and recognition are set to be stirred given the required opportunity with Psychosis. The successor to their previous well-received full-length Locust ▼  Lunatic Asylum, there is no escaping a new maturity and bolder imagination to the band’s songwriting and sound within Psychosis or the richer fusion of flavours making up its boisterous canvas.

The release opens with Solitude, the song initially brewing its attack in the background before crowding ears in a rapacious but controlled swirl of riffs and rhythms. A potent coaxing, it in turn soon centres its trespass and drives across the senses as eager grooves align with hungry riffs, the vocal antagonism of guitarist Torsten Schramm soon in league with the ferocious incitement. Instantly contagious and increasingly unpredictable as melodic strands and invention entangle in the fury while variety enhances the magnetism of vocals, the song just blossoms by the second. Already hints of different styles and spicing are at play, stronger in some moments than others but all adding to the track’s potent imagination and character.

It is a stirring rousing start easily backed by the sonic tapestry that is Akardos. Classic metal lined progressive wiring initiates the temptation, a great slim but rich prowling gait emerging before those early hues inflame the melodic enterprise of Schramm and lead guitarist Aaron Vogelsberg. Darker, heavier shadows soon infest the contagion, the esurient beats of Sam Baw uniting with the magnetic pulsation and lure of Jules RoCkwell’s bass. New threads of sound and styles continue to be keenly woven into the magnetic web before Dark Valley takes over the enslaving of ears and appetite. There is a bedlamic edge to Schramm’s vocals which quickly captured the imagination, one which only escalates across the song as musically too it nurtures an anarchic pandemonium within its skilfully bred infestation; the result which is maybe something akin to Dog Fashion Disco and Mudvayne meets The New Jacobin Club but is truly unique to Sober Truth.

The brief atmospheric ally portentous instrument of Ode To Reality leads to the authoritative bait of Riven which subsequently embraces thrash metal bred enticement and blackened shadows to its creative breast. As all tracks though, it evolves and spreads into a diversity of flavours and endeavour, the song as the band’s sound, wonderfully difficult to truly pin down though there is something of a Fear Factory tint to it.

The progressively flamed, death metal flushed Horizon and the nu/groove metal webbing of Utopia only cement the album’s potency and temptation; both unforgettable escapades forged in the diverse furore of sound and imaginative craft from across the whole band before Sober (ReArranged) reveals a whole new side and character to a song previously found on the last album. As catchy in temperament and intent as the original, the song flourishes in the fresh creative winds which race through the band’s growth in sound.

Dying Dreams follows bringing tenebrific clouds over melodic and harmonic intimation before the album’s title track seduced ears with its enthralling mesh of voracious metal and gothic rock equipped with almost malevolent grooves and post punk starkness. At times the song sparks thoughts of The Mission and Sisters Of Mercy, in other moments erupts in an insatiable squall of dissonance and instability. The track is superb, and one of the album’s biggest highlights.

The album concludes with an Unplugged rendition of Collapse, it too a song first introduced on Locust ▼ Lunatic Asylum. Whether intended as a mere bonus slice of Sober Truth goodness or not it provides a wonderful conclusion to Psychosis which is very easy to be greedy over.

Sober Truth may have still been an unnoticed proposition to many but surely that will change thanks to Psychosis. Quite simply the album is a real pleasure of originality and heterogeneity which deserves all the attention and plaudits it will hopefully get.

Psychosis is available now @ https://sobertruth.bandcamp.com/album/psychosis

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Pete RingMaster 14/03/2019

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