Scent of Death
Of Martyrs's Agony and Hate

Spain isn’t exactly known for its burgeoning brutal/technical death metal scene (Wormed is the only one that immediately comes to mind), but neither is Greece and they gave us Sickening Horror, Scotland unleashed Scordatura earlier this year and Iceland gave us Ophidian I last year also. So here is veteran but hardly prolific act Scent of Death and their second album (I am not familiar with the band’s 2005 debut Woven in the Book of Hate), and I’m pretty impressed.

Though far from original, as Scent of Death cull from a number of tangible influences from Cannibal Corpse, Origin, Behemoth, Suffocation and the current top tier of technical death metal acts ( I hear early Mithras), the band is incredibly confident and competent at their chosen delivery. Notably drummer Rolando Barros (of avant garde black metal act The Firstborn) who really carries much of this material along with the guitar duo of Bernardo Estevez and Jorge Taboada- hardly house house names out side of Spain, but their skill and delivery of this material should put them on the map.

Like I stated, this isn’t the most original death metal, but boy is it well done, and that counts in this genre. It’s got a punchy, but earthy production, a savage mix of technical noodly sweeps and bludgeoning brutality with standard deep growls and screams. Just look to 6 minute opener “Awakening of the Liar”, which reeks of Origin with its arpeggios and jack hammer percussive assault. Second track, “Enemy of my Enemy” recalls Behemoth‘s Zos Kia Cultus at times with a stern militant march and double bass, before “Ego Te Provoco” shows the bands more controlled but technical chops with an angular, jagged lope and blast that recalls Morbid Angel‘s Gateways to Annihilation . Three songs in and the band shows exceptional grasp of all of death metal’s requisite facets.

Admittedly, with “Feeling the Fear” the band hint at the rest of the album tailing off just a little as the song writing starts to waver, though the skill is still there. But such is technical death metal, where a premium is often placed on the skill, not the songs. But still these guys do a solid job of balancing both. However, “A Simple Twist of Fate” delivers a real standout with a twisting, labyrinthine take on complex brutality. “Man Kills, God Too” and “The Fathers Sins” (with more Origin-ish sweeps) deliver a solid duo of tracks before an instrumental number ,” The Sleeper Awakens” breaks up the party.

The album closes with “Sear Me in a Sea of Snakes”, a varied blistering end note to a real surprising gem of an album that though released in late 2012 deserves to be revisited here in 2103 as a stellar example of technical death metal from an unexpected source.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 27th, 2013


  1. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    Excellent write-up, great references. I listened to this a few times and also thought Origin/Mithras too. Face-ripping stuff

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