With a moniker like Sodomisery, I blind-clicked on the promo for the band’s second album fully expecting a brutal death metal album full of ass, blood, and guts-filled lyrics with gurgled vocals. It was not that. Pleasantly so.

Then I dug into the band a little and found it a more melodic Swedish death/black metal-based project started by Harris Sopovic (ex-live guitarist for Diabolical, ex-Smothered), aided by current Diabolical bassist Paul Viscolit and another former Smothered member, drummer Viktor Eklund. Also, the band at some point featured Netherbird members and  Niklas Sundin of Katatonia, who appears as a guest on the track “Demon in Heaven”. So while not quite a supergroup giant, there are some veterans here, and it shows.

Interestingly, for album number 2, the band recorded two versions of all the songs; one with additional new symphonic/orchestral keyboards and one more like the debut, a more straight-up Swedish melo-death sound. The band apparently settled on the symphonic version, and thus we have Sodomisery‘s second album and a snazzy new logo to match the new sound heard on Mazzaroth (Hebrew term for ‘Constellations’).

And I’m glad they did. I went back and checked out the band’s 2020 debut The Great Demise, and it is a decent to good NWSDM album, but nothing special. But as with most things (in my opinion)- added keyboards make Sodomisery a far better act, and as a result, Mazzaroth is a killer melodic black/death metal album.

There’s a huge amount of polish and confidence on all 9 songs here that recall the genre’s late 90s and early 00s heyday (In particular, Grief of Emerald came to mind). The Ronnie Björnström (Centinex, Revolting, Bodyfarm, Ribspreader, Olkoth), mix/master is crystal clear and powerful, and the keys really add an extra element of grandiosity and majesty to the solid melodic black/death metal backbone.

All eight tracks are top-notch with moments to enjoy, but in particular, a few really stood out; opener “Coming Home”, with its Dan Swano-ish clean vocals, “A Storm Without A Wind”, with its wondrously catchy chord progressions, the lovely chorus of “Master Your Mind” and “Demon in Heaven”, whereas I already mentioned, Niklas Sundin helps out withy the choral vocal bridge.

Sodomisery’s Mazzaroth is up there with last year’s Pestilent Hex, I Am The Night, and Mist from the Mountains albums as far as pure 90s throwback glee and is a great little appetizer for an upcoming fall that features some similarly spectacular old school symphonic black metal releases from the likes of Moonlight Sorcery and Sylvatica.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 11th, 2023


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