Mental Cruelty

The German symphonic deathcore band, MENTAL CRUELTY, will soon be releasing their fourth full-length album, […]
May 9, 2023
Mental Cruelty - Zweilicht album cover

The German symphonic deathcore band, MENTAL CRUELTY, will soon be releasing their fourth full-length album, "Zweilicht." This is their first one on Century Media Records and it was mixed and mastered by Josh Schroeder. "Zweilicht" has ten tracks and is about forty-nine minutes long. After an embarrassing cliché introductory track entitled, "Midvinter," which begins with the sound of thunder before orchestra music plays, we are greeted with "Obsessis A Daemonio." The vocals are front and center on the entire album. Lukas Nicolai's vocal contortionism is a feat. I was surprised to hear his exceptional clean singing. This track is the perfect album showcase and there's a lot on display. The songwriting on "Obsessis A Daemonio" pulls from the entire symphonic deathcore toolbox and that holds true for the vast majority of "Zweilicht," the album.

"Forgotten Kings" has a vocal solo. I found the songwriting choice to be overly self-indulgent in an already decadent style of metal. I liked the cut-up vocals, they were just what the moment needed. I found myself saying that to myself quite often while listening to the album. The songwriting is tight, nuanced, and balanced. To paraphrase RADIOHEAD, everything was in its right place. Another element that this album does well is the crescendo, and "Mortal Shells" has great crescendo moments. The buildup of this track up until the big bass drop is quite nice, from the blast beats to the excellent head-banging moment immediately afterward. This one also features a neat cut-up vocal part. That slight decision, while used sparingly, punctuates the preceding vocals nicely.

The following two tracks are the album's climax, with the oddball "Zweilicht" serving as the de-facto introduction to "Symphony Of A Dying Star." The minute-and-a-half folk metal ditty that is the self-titled track is fitting after a rich first half. "Symphony Of A Dying Star" is exactly that, a symphony. The keyboards play a major role in this track. There is a clean guitar bit that is all but drowned out by the symphony, but that is nit-picking. I enjoyed the layered clean and growled/squealed vocals. The different styles complement each other well. Of course, the bass drop in this one is epic as well.

The final two tracks are up to the same high standard. My biggest gripe is that there is little innovation beyond the symphonic elements. That isn't a huge deal-breaker for me because the songwriting is so tightly wound. Overall, I had a great time with "Zweilicht." They sound a lot like fellow deathcore stablemates, "LORNA SHORE." Fortunately, MENTAL CRUELTY's unique style and on-point song structure set them far enough apart from the music of LORNA SHORE for me to enjoy both acts without it being redundant. If you like deathcore, you will find plenty to enjoy in "Zweilicht."

8 / 10









"Zweilicht" Track-listing:

1. Midvinter
2. Obsessis a Daemonio
3. Forgotten Kings
4. Pest
5. Nordlys
6. Mortal Shells
7. Zweilicht
8. Symphony of a Dying Star
9. The Arrogance of Agony
10. A Tale of Salt and Light

Mental Cruelty Lineup:

Marvin Kessler - Guitars
Viktor Dick - Bass
Nahuel Lozano - Guitars
Lukas Nicolai - Vocals

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