Dennis : It’s quite a mystery to me as to why Lords of Metal hasn’t covered Solium Fatalis before in any of the earlier issues. ‘Genetically Engineered To Enslave’ is already the fourth full length studio album of this New Hampshire quartet around guitarist Jim Gregory and vocalist Jeff DeMarco who seem to be using a different rhythm section on every record, but they are always accompanied by some of the finest (death) metal artists in the scene. The first self-titled Solium Fatalis record was recorded with (then) Scarve drummer Dirk Verbeuren and bassist Loic Colin, the second record entitled ‘The Undying Season’ with Cryptopsy’s Flo Mounier on drums and Olivier Pinard on bass and the last one with ex-Dying Fetus, ex-Misery Index drummer Kevin Talley. Names that will normally get your attention straight away when hearing them. The current line-up of Solium Fatalis consists of Jim Gregory and Ryan Beevers on guitars, Jeff Saltzman on drums and Jeff DeMarco on vocals and bass.
‘Genetically Engineered to Enslave’ is a concept album about genetic engineering and artificial intelligence and contains ten pounding death metal tracks lasting 40 minutes. Right from the start Solium Fatalis grabs the listener by the throat with the massive sounding song ‘Threshold’. The overall pace of the music is relatively slow but the fast drum rhythms and unrelenting double bass assaults form a sharp contrast. Heavy chugging riffs of the two guitarists form a massive wall of sound on top of the drums and are accompanied with anger-filled slow moody grunts, with words carefully selected it seems. Not too much spitting and screaming here, but rather some kind of storytelling grunting. The slow paced ‘A Gathering of Storms’, halfway through the record contains some raw and dirty guest vocals by Cryptopsy’s Matt McGachy and serene female vocals by Haydee Irizarry, which definitely makes the song kind of stand out from the rest of the material. Sometimes the music touches the field of technical death metal, but I would say most of the material is melodic death metal with extremely heavy riffs and pounding rhythms. The sound of the production is crystal clear with all the instruments well balanced in the mix, and yet again Christian Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Neuraxis) proves to be a skillful producer. ‘Genetically Engineered To Enslave’ will be released on October 13 and will appeal to fans of melodic, heavy and groovy death metal.