Released: 2016, Transcending Obscurity
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
After a three-year hiatus that began in 2010, Indian death metallers Third Sovereign essentially picked up where they'd left off in 2013, reforming with three-quarters of the previous lineup and one-time bassist Jonah, who had left in 2007. The break seems to be just what the band needed.
Fast forward to 2016, and Third Sovereign have finally released their second album, nearly a decade after their debut, Destined To Suffer. The live work – not to mention the songwriting and recording - the band have done since regrouping has made them a tighter, more professional unit and Perversion Swallowing Sanity makes for a brutally inspired follow up.
Save for the spoken intro “Sakei Ai Hla,” done in their native tongue, there's little to identify Third Sovereign as an “Indian metal” band. The intro soon yields to the heaving rumble and grim thematics of “Grave Of Humanity” and the band maintain that kind of sinister groove much of the rest of the way.
Their sound is familiar – but not overly so - and universal, recalling in particular Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Vader and vintage Sepultura (pre-Roots). The quartet mix death metal and thrash with old school gusto yet grace it here with a clean but brash modern recording that accentuates guitarist Benjamin's chug-and-grind riffs, all of which makes for a great sounding finished product. But it could be from anywhere, and I guess that's the idea.
Though there may be little in the way of obvious Indian influence, the band do bring plenty of their own personality into the proceedings, especially in frontman Vedant's off-kilter rasping cadence and Jonah's nimble bass runs on top of drummer Reuben's rivet gun-like tempos. The rhythmic contrast brings some welcome swing to tracks like “Slaughtering Mankind” or “Spawned With Guilt.”
As it is, Sanity is an impressive and imposing outing by a band that sound like they came back with a mission. They have made up for the lost time and really hit their stride here. The album deserves an audience beyond the Asian subcontinent, and I suspect it will get one as word starts getting out – which it appears to be, as evidenced by this – that Third Sovereign are a forced to be reckoned with.