Sphere - Mindless Mass

I am surprised I have not been exposed to this Polish bands brand of death metal especially as they have two albums out already. The fledgling label has seen fit to release the bands third album and with Poland being a hot bed of some of the world's biggest and most outstanding extreme metal bands the planet has ever witnessed the pressure to get noticed outside the confines of their homeland is a challenge to say the least. It also appears that the band has some established players and experience within a variety of previous and current projects, giving the impression that the band should be among the lower level elite of Poland's extreme metal scene.

A dramatic film score like intro, "Come To Us!", starts the album and for a change I enjoyed the intro as usually I'm making a drink whilst it runs its course ready for the first proper tune to get underway. As the intro terminates "Baptism" teases the listener with a calming almost monastic vocal line before a blasphemous riff disintegrates that serenity for a demonic accompanying blast that has a gravity roll of epic proportions after the first verse lyrics are spat out. Being akin to Behemoth is not a surprise but at least the band does justice to their songs by allowing them to expand to their own vision and not crowd an already packed field of blackened death metal. Added to that the vocals of Dawidek are versatile with a growl up there with the likes of Spiros from Septicflesh and a clean croon I found interesting and totally in fitting with the arrangements and song writing. As the tune hits "Society Foetus" there are technical nuances similar to Nile especially with the guitar tone inflection but without carbon copying which is absolutely essential for today's discerning extreme metal palates.

"Let To Live" has a huge US death metal feel, a slow pulverising double kick with grizzly riffing before the blast insertion and it is this ability to cross pollinate the various styles of death metal that makes Sphere an engaging listen especially on "Cage Of Conformity" where the ultra blasted snare is ridiculously fast. Continuing the aural Armageddon is "Leash" which boasts some excellent guitar work in the form lead flurries as the tune creates a palpable deluge of pummelling only punctuated by an excellent clean vocal break and solo. The most tempered tune is the title track which begins with a sermon style sample with church bells ringing right before a gnarly riff and blast explosion which are reined in about half way for a slower more dirgeful exercise in cranium cracking pulverising. The clich├ęd owl hoots and wolf howls that start "Red Hood" may be appropriate but laughable and I guess is a bastardisation of the children's story being suitably dark and menacing with a good degree of caveman like nihilism but catchy with it. As the release enters its final death throes "Spring Lullaby" is a bouncing true death metal song similar to Blood Red Throne for the use of a slower but very melodic double bass leading into the last gasps of "I Am The Cross" which clocks the seven minute mark and consists of a repeating riff and beat that is hypnotically played for the whole duration and makes you wonder whether there is going to be anything in the way of change which there isn't.

Within the spectrum of extreme blackened death metal Sphere are up there with the best of them and have crafted an album with enough riffing guile and individual song writing and arrangements to enable them to swim above the torrents of acts that are like this. Well worth checking out this is a good album to spend few hours with.

  1. Come To Us!
  2. Baptism
  3. Society Foetus
  4. Spider's Web
  5. Retaliation
  6. Let To Live
  7. Cage Of Conformity
  8. Leash
  9. Mindless Mass
  10. Golden Calf Sculpture
  11. Red Hood
  12. Manifesto
  13. Spring Lullaby
  14. I Am The Cross