Phylactery - Aeber

Counting only four years of life as a band, and having already released a demo two years ago, we can't say that these brutes from Czech Republic are lazy. "Aeber" is their first full length and I think what comes out of it should be more than enough for the average death metaler to check. Their name would make someone assume that it is another brutal death/slam band but no. These guys have a different view on death metal. A more classical approach.

First track breaks the silence and what we are dealing with is a mid-tempo, groovy death metal song with blast bursts here and there. Mostly heavy riffs, inspired by bands as Monstrosity, Death (mostly early), Incantation and all those beasts that marked the sound of the old school. The typical technical solo closes this first song and of we go for the second one. 'The Contract', carries on from where the previous left it. Mid-tempo, old school stuff aiming to groove it up. The heavy riffs are accented with sharp leads giving the entire outcome the appropriate old school touch. Blastbeats here and there break the continuous double kick drum giving the songs the appropriate space to breathe. Usually with death metal releases nowadays it is the exact opposite. A nice change from the ordinary. Third track in and things get a bit faster here. Blasted intro and keeps going. The typical death metal growls are doubled here with shrieks. A groovy interleave somewhere in the middle and then blastbeat again.

Songs proceed and it gets obvious that they do not aim to bombard the listener with ferocious blastbeats and hyper technical riffing (not that there's anything wrong with it) but take him into the zone where he would headbang without even realizing. And damn it there are many spots here and there where I caught myself doing that. The songs themselves are of a medium length. Not big but not small either. An average of 3:30 for every song. Little more, little less makes no difference. Their structure consists of many parts enough to keep the listener's attention focused on them. This of course has its black spot as well. There were many moments that I thought the riff succession wasn't that successful. It seemed to me (personal opinion as always) that some riffs where 'forced' in there only to make a song bigger. It feels to me that if some tracks lacked some riffs, they would have delivered a better flow to the whole outcome.

Track number 8 in and 'Forest Eternal' breaks in. A doom death approach for the lovers of the genre. Way too steep downhill if I may do say so. After that of course back to groove. Three more songs the way the use to perform. Enhancing groove with speed in a ratio of 70/30.

After 37 minutes "Aeber" ends and back to playing the whole thing again. Summing up I would have to say that "Aeber" is a really good effort from Phylactery. If you take in account that this is the first full length of a band that does not counts years of experience in the genre, I would say that it is worth a shot.

The boys have many great ideas and their way of performing their brutality is a nice change from all these plastic sounding brutal death metal super-fast bands. Not the ones to change your views on the genre but a band that deserves the proper attention. Great potential here. Heads up!

  1. Descent Into Madness
  2. The Contract
  3. ...Of August
  4. Diablo Code
  5. Confessor
  6. The Grand Abomination
  7. Nightfall
  8. Forest Eternal
  9. Asylum
  10. Under The Red Sun
  11. Acolytes Of Plague