Sol Sistere – Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum (Hammerheart)

Monday, 2nd May 2016
Rating: 7.5/10

Of interest and/or intrigue mainly because two ex-members of Chilean black metal giants Animus Mortis are in the ranks, Sol Sistere are a part of the growing number of South American bands channeling the (un)holy ghost of Dissection. Formed in 2013, the band released the simply-named I EP in 2014 before catching the attention of Hammerheart, who saw fit to put pen to paper for the release of the band’s full-length debut, Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum. (To wit, DR couldn’t help but think of The Cult’s “Sweet Soul Sister” when composing this review. Two different worlds, of course.)

Borderline polished and reliant upon those fire-breathing, darting, speedy melodies, Sol Sistere, like many of their contemporaries, go for broke on the album’s opening number, “Death Knell.” It’s a monumental song, heightened by a constant barrage of blast beats and spirited melodies. The melodic forays continue with “Deliver Us,” which piles on the action-packed drumming and guitar cavalcade, while the suitably old-school (see: mid-‘90s) romp of “6th Replicant” emerges as the album’s most depressive and downcast number, buoyed by a surprise clean-guitar mid-section. (The song also doesn’t have any vocals, so go figure.)

While some of the riff patterns and melodic ideas on hand feel a bit too repetitive and played-out, Sol Sistere has managed to weave together a relatively complex album with Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum. And sure, they’re not quite capable of stacking up to Animus Mortis and certainly not Dissection (actually, they’re already better than present-day Naglfar, although that’s not much of an achievement), Sol Sistere provides the Chilean black metal front with another sharp, formidable weapon in its ever-growing arsenal.

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