The Phobos/Deimos Suite


Antonin Freyre started SEROCS as a one-man band back in 2009 but it soon grew […]
By Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier
November 5, 2018
Serocs - The Phobos/Deimos Suite album cover

Antonin Freyre started SEROCS as a one-man band back in 2009 but it soon grew into a full band.  After some EP s and a few full lengths, they have returned once more with their fourth full length "The Phobos/Deimos Suite." Born and inspired by the love of early 90's/late 2000's Technical Death Metal, this album is without a doubt the most insane Death Metal album I've heard this year.   It really shouldn't be any surprise considering the band is made up of members from FIRST FRAGMENT, CHTHE'ILIST, FUNEBRARUM, BENIGHTED & SUTRAH.

Still, the album is surprising in its ferocity and uncompromising approach to an audible mental hell, much of what the lyrical content centers on.  One of the most interesting ingredients to the music is actually the absence of one often important features of Tech Death bands: guitar solos.  Rather than being pulled out of the moment or taken off to unnecessary paths with endless guitar noodling or solo masturbation, the album is built upon honest to god riffs, from both the guitars and the bass.  Often times, I feel as if Metal bands, especially the more extreme ones, get into their own way by going too far into progressive extremity and just fill the songs with things that don't really matter.  SEROC's approach to modern day Tech Day is so refreshing to my ears; the album focus on telling the story through not only the lyrics but the music itself, giving the atmosphere a focus that, instead of subduing the craziness, actually gives it room to grow.

The opening track, "Being," is a cacophony of insanely frantic yet focused and hard-hitting drums, meaty riffs, and bass so tight it sounds like it might explode inside your ears.  It is all capped off by the ruthless growls and grunts from vocalist Laurent. "Oneirology," is the musical equivalent of tripping and falling down a hole that never ends.  The beginning is vomited forth to life by a quick succession of the firing of drums and a riff that is catchier than it should be.  The seconds between 3:13 and 3:34 is a slightly slower paced grind that really captures the band's sound in one the more sonic crushing moments.  However, this can create a problem.  As much as I love the aspect of the band wanting to remain a force of sound that constantly pushes forwards, the lack of repetition means some of the best parts of the album are only seen once before they are pushed out by yet another idea.   Although the replacement ideas are great as well, I would had liked each moment to hang on for a just a bit longer.  This is something of a personal preference and not really a 'bad thing' per say, but it is a hallmark of the genre that will work more for some than others.  Unfortunately, it makes the album have the same issue as every Tech Death release: as good as the songs are, they do all tend to blend together.

The album ends on a high note, with the last two tracks being some of the best.  "Nonbeing," has mind twisting riffs that change and grow under the strong foundation of the drums and bass, insuring the song remains savage throughout; bassist Antoine and drummer Kevin are nothing short of spectacular across the whole album, an additional layer to an already torrential storm. Antoine is probably the real star of the album-I'm pretty sure he is playing the best bass I've heard in extreme metal all year. The crown jewel of the album is "Deimos," an eleven-minute song that throws in everything great about the band and gives a look into the window of the passion and fire that drives them.   The opening moments of clean instrumentation are a nice respite from the chaos but soon enough the hammer drops.  The different movements of the song work very well together.  The slower tempo part that comes out of a clean portion at 3:58 is a stark contrast to the rapid-fire riffs that go for the throat at 5:58 but the band's songwriting skills made the two parts also compliment each other very well.

In the end, SEROC's fourth album "The Phobos/Deimos Suite," is a near perfect representation of Tech Death and is quite the trip into insanity's requiem. Another highly recommended Death Metal album from EVERLASTING SPEW RECORDS, a label that continues to mine gold from the Metal Underground.

10 / 10









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"The Phobos/Deimos Suite" Track-listing:

1. Being
2. Nihilus
3. Thanatophobia
4. (REM)nants
5. Oneirology
6. Revenants
7. Lethe
8. SCP-106
9. Nonbeing
10. Deimos

Serocs Lineup:

Laurent Bellemare - Vocals
Antonio Freyre - Guitar
Phil Tougas - Guitar & Backing Vocals
Antoine Daigneault - Bass
Kévin Paradis - Drums

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