Sawthis – Babhell (Mighty Music)

Friday, 17th March 2017
Rating: 7.5/10

After three albums that have gone rather under the radar, the Italian squad of Sawthis are back for a fourth helping with Babhell. Their first album under the Mighty Music flag has some definite appeal to the melodic death metal segment of the DR population, but does it go above and beyond to deliver something truly lasting?

Sawthis has crafted an album that’s good but not really going outside the established boundaries. Sawthis has cut their teeth in the death/thrash genre, and over the years added more modern/metalcore influences so it’s pretty easy to conjure up some images of what can be expected. Because of dabbling in the more extreme first, rather than core, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the heavy factor that permeates the album. Some breakneck death/thrash does indeed spruce up the landscape, as opener “The Burning Place” quickly exemplifies. Ever so slowly, more modern influences start to creep further into the interior, but they are handled tastefully, from modern grooves to spoken word and clean vocals. There are some light keys from time to time, but they chose to stick at the more explosive end of the fence (“The End” is a real ripper). The only track to move too far away from the established pattern is that of “Never Alone,” which ends up sounding more akin to a quieter Alice in Chains track than anything else, offering an enjoyable change of pace.

Babhell isn’t going to win the originality award for 2017, but it does exactly what it means to. Often frantic thrash-infusions, death metal brutality, and modern tendencies swirl together in a way that should be palatable to many. Sawthis are a solid mid-level act that continue to put out a quality product.

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