(NCS contributor Austin Weber delivers this review of the new second album by a multinational collective who call themselves Serocs.)
With the advent of the internet, a number of quality metal bands have emerged where members individually contribute and collaborate with the help of the internet to form groups that would otherwise not be possible. Among this new breed of bands comes the frenetic grinding insanity of Serocs.
Technically speaking Serocs is based in Guadalajara, Mexico, which founder and guitarist Antonio Freyre calls home, and originally he played and wrote everything; their first two releases are solely him. Over time Serocs evolved into a full band with members scattered across different nations. Besides Antonio Freyre on guitar, the group currently also consists of Mike Poggione (Monstrosity/Capharnum/etc) on an often audible in the mix six-string bass, and Jason Hohenstein (Lecherous Nocturne) churning out sickening bellows and growls. Rounding out the lineup is Finnish drummer Timo Häkkinen (Kataplexia), who covers the songs in an endless stream of blast-beats and furied fills.
Serocs are quite fond of guest spots too and spice up The Next with six guest contributions. They don’t fit into one subset of death metal neatly, but to break it down, they basically mix old school death metal influence with technical death metal, supplemented by a brutal death metal side, all deconstructed through a deathgrind approach.
This is caustic, highly relentless music, fine-tuned with a lightning-fast percussive assault and exploding with furious fretwork that definitely reminds me of Cryptopsy, and I also hear Cannibal Corpse in some of the more “brutal” riffs. Serocs wisely break beyond their normal mold of speed-addled aggression with plenty of groovy breaks and build-ups that let the music breathe until the next steamrolling section appears. If you want a lot of twisted, rapidly shifting riffs and awesome solos, they have all that too.
I think it’s awesome to hear this kind of punishing music have so much groove to it. The bludgeoning bass work of Mike Poggione is another highlight of The Next as well, with both “Urban Terror” and “The Hellgramite Method” being prominent showcases of his chunky, funky talents.
Just a few weeks ago Serocs announced some exciting news, i.e., that highly talented axeman Philippe “Pat” Tougas (First Fragment), who previously played on Serocs’ last album Oneirology, is now back as a full-time member and will be playing lead guitar on their upcoming album.
Standouts for me from the album would have to be the slippery Gorguts-influenced closer “Alienus Gignesthai”, “The Variable”, “Weakness Fed The Fear”, and my personal favorite, the title track itself. Their past releases are likewise killer and available at their Bandcamp should you choose to further punish your ears with additional sickness from Serocs. The Next is out now through Comatose Music, and a link is included below.