It’s never too late to give an album a push, and Controverse was released last year. We only recently received a copy of God Syndrome’s second outing and debut full length and, as ever, our review pile is like a Mount Everest of shiny discs and download links. However, it did make its way into my DVD-ROM drive (something too many modern computers are missing) at which point it laid waste to my speakers and woke one of my children and the wife.
After plugging in the headphones I settled back to have only my own eardrums pummelled and a very pleasant experience it was, too. Citing Hate, Deicide, Decapitated and Hypocrisy amongst their influences, you can get an idea of where this young Russian crew are coming from. And on the strength of Controverse they should be heading towards great things.
Controverse is heavy, brutally heavy. It’s also melodic and musical. This is extreme metal with riffs and rhythm rather than just excessive blast beats and speed-of-light harsh strumming. It’s no slouch in the speed department, but manages to hang all of this off a decent musical skeleton.
The first track that really grabbed me was “Five Acts of Deception”. A great mix of old-style death vocals, distorted riffs and strident lead guitars. It’s actually the lengthiest song on the album and goes through plenty of phases, including a fantastic slow section around three quarters through which is reached after a climax that other bands would finish the track on. But oh, no – God Syndrome have something left in the tank and ensure it’s only a brief respite before tearing through the final quarter.
“The Last Option” is another one that just works for me, this time more for the chugging bass-led rhythm and down-tuned intertwined lead guitar. Again, it’s the perfect blend of face-destroying violence and quality musicianship. “Fire”, which you can check out below, is one of the heaviest, bassiest songs on the album and absolutely pounds you into the ground. Just try and stop your head bashing in time to the closing bars.
This really is a great album. Well written, performed and produced it’s the kind of thing that leaves you in no doubt that there are some great bands out there to carry the metal mantle when the older ones retire. God Syndrome have already released one further track – “The Den” – and are writing more while preparing for future European shows.
Controverse is out now and available from God Syndrome’s bandcamp page.