Apr 142014

This morning I saw a positive Facebook mention about this band by Patrick Bruss (Crypticus), who knows a thing or two about old school death metal. Sentience is a one-man death metal band from Woodland Park, New Jersey, formed only this year by guitarist/vocalist Matt Moliti (ex-Dark Empire). He has recorded a three-song demo entitled Beyond the Curse of Death — and here’s what really caught my attention: It was mastered by the legendary Dan Swanö, who had this to say about the music:

“One of the best SweDeath projects I have come across in the last 20 years. The perfect blend of all the highlights from the Swedish scene from 89 to 91. Truly awesome!”

I mean, shit, that’s some very high praise, given the source! And who am I to disagree with someone like Dan Swanö when it comes to old-school SweDeath? And in fact, I don’t disagree at all.

The songs, of course, bring that distinctively immense, meat-grinding guitar tone that’s the hallmark of this kind of music, plus a charging phalanx of writhing, murderous riffs, white-hot guitar soloing, and hoarse, throaty howls that hunger for human flesh. But there is so much more going on — an addition of textures that make this demo stand out amongst the flood of other old-school SweDeath revivals.

For one thing, the songs also display a talent for memorable melodies and excellent fretwork. They’re also enhanced with unexpected touches. I especially enjoyed “Dusk”, with its surprising keyboard melody joining in with the rapidly jabbing, concrete-cutting riff attack and the eye-opening lead guitar machinations, as well as the acoustic guitar interlude and interesting rhythms in “Beneath A Bleeding Moon”. And the melody in that last song, by the way, is worthy of the word “epic”.

This really is an unusually good debut that isn’t just a cookie-cutter clone of the original sound. You should remember the name Sentience, and spread it around. The music is available on Bandcamp for a price you name.




  1. Thanks Islander! Really great demo, thanks for spreading the fire.

  2. this sounds freaking awesome!!! excuse me, i need to go download this right goddamn now.

  3. I thought I beat NCS to this, but apparently your amazing Death Metal radar is more fine tuned than mine. Glad to see this get featured!

    • I have Patrick Bruss to thank for my narrow head start compared to yours. His death metal radar works very, very well, especially when it comes to SweDeath.

  4. This be totz bludgeoning. My apologies for using ‘totz’.

  5. Mmmm… crunchy.

  6. I’m really into this….is there anything more??

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