(Austin Weber reviews the new EP by Indiana-based Kossuth.)
The last time I wrote about Kossuth here at NCS, it was when I helped premiere “Plains Of The Soaring Dagger” before the release of the full EP on which it resides. Now that Mictlan has been released, it’s high time that you check it out, and find out why it’s important that you do so. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit presumptuous of me to say, but it’s hard not to get hyperbolic when we’re talking about technical death metal as good as this.
For those who missed my prior post, the band has several current/former members of Dawn Of Dementia in their ranks, which is reason alone to check it out. While a sonic comparison to the technical-meets-melodic stylings of Dawn Of Dementia can easily be made, beyond the current/former members’ connection, Kossuth have more of a progressive mindset to their songwriting on Mictlan than the first Dawn Of Dementia EP had.
There are a lot of different influences and stylistic variety coalescing and converging here. But, when taken as a whole, Mictlan sounds like a mix between the first Son Of Aurelius record, Decrepit Birth, and shades of Spawn Of Possession from time to time, all thrown in a blender with the end result a highly enjoyable and complex sound you’ll want to come back to.
It’s difficult for me to pick a favorite track, because all 5 songs are of a very high quality. But more then that, each track has enough unique riffs, melodies, and structural differences from each other, all of which keep things interesting from start to finish. And at just under 20 minutes, it flies by quickly. I have no doubt you’ll want to hit replay immediately once you finish an initial spin of it. To call it addicting would be an understatement.
Much like in Beyond Creation, the phenomenal bass playing of Joel Schwallier is an X-factor to the overall experience, enhancing it greatly, which is not a knock against the fantastic vocals and the superb instrumental performances of the other members. Joel Schwallier is given ample room in the mix to prove his mettle, and he does so well, with a hyperactive output of wonderfully creative bass lines that complement the rest of their music beautifully. There is a fascinating counterpoint presence in these performances that I frequently find myself zoning in on while jamming Mictlan.
As much as I love technical death metal, like any other style, many of the bands that play it don’t do enough to set themselves apart. In this respect Kossuth succeed where others fail. Their talent and presence is worthy of recognition. As this is their first recorded effort, we can only hope they continue and ascend to an even higher plateau of face-melting madness.