Monday, August 29, 2011

The Few Against Many - Sot (2009)

Flashing back to my freshman year in college, I remember shooting the breeze with a few fraternity brothers with my guitar in hand, and a newly arrived package from Amazon. At that point, I only had one idea on my mind: to put my guitar down (gently, of course), and viciously rip open the package in order to retrieve my copy of Sot, The Few Against Many's debut record.

Saddened by Christian Älvestam's departure from Scar Symmetry, I was hoping the vocal genius would pop up somewhere else and pronto. As I popped the Sot disk out of the case and into my stereo, doubts flew out the window because Christian was in prime form--his growls were and are my favorite in all of metal, a rich, deep, aggressive roar that completely blows away the competition. Sadly, you won't find any of his trademark cleans on this disk because vocals are exclusively guttural.

I can't give all the credit to Älvestam, however, as The Few Against Many would be nothing without the music. Unsurprisingly, there is shortage of riffage on Sot, with most falling into the melodic side of the spectrum, while still retaining a sense of savageness when backed by relentless drumming. The music's overall atmosphere melds exceptionally well with the symphonic overtones that pull the music together in a way unlike any other that I've heard before. More often that not, synth and symphonic elements are bit iffy, but, in the case of The Few Against Many, they are essential in retaining their trademark sound.

If my recollection is correct, Sot took precedent over the other albums I got in the mail that day, and rightfully so. For a debut, this disk is nothing short of amazing and is worth a look from anyone that likes melodic, yet aggressive, music. I can't recommend it more. And lest I forget it, all lyrics are in Swedish, which is a bonus for me because music in other languages fascinates me.


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