Reviewed: June, 2022
Released: 2022, Dekebal Records
Reviewer: Simon Wiedemann
Born in Duat are a symphonic death metal band from Toledo in Spain, who were formed in 2019. They are on Dekebal Records, and they released their sophomore album ‘Aton’ on 7th March, 2022. It follows their 2020 debut ‘Sejem’. The act only features one instrumentalist/composer/producer named Adrian Culea, and he is on the lookout for other people to work with and to complete his group, as he gets busy with his third release.
Whilst the guitars, bass and drums here have a massive sound, unfortunately the symphonic instruments are a little weedier. That’s to be expected as they seem to be computer generated, so let’s hope Adrian’s quest for new members results in real string/brass players, etc. I’m not sure if the drums are programmed/edited on computer, but whatever the case, they sound somewhat mechanical. (Maybe he’s just really in time). Nice and beefy for the most part, but fake. (Probably). Track ‘Tyrant’ has some busy tech-death style riffing, and ‘Apophis’ goes even crazier with what can be described as ‘shred riffing’. That’s like shred soloing, only with lower pitched repeating patterns. (I may or may not have coined a new phrase!) It’s the kind of stuff Yngwie Malmsteen would play if was exceptionally angry and REALLY ‘unleashed the fury.’ It’s pretty cool.
The high pitched and jangly glockenspiels in ‘The Eternal Wrath Of Sethek’ are… different, even for a symphonic band. They almost make the song sound magical. Magical death metal? That has to be a first for my ears, at least. The Arabic scales and harmonies that are often used throughout the album bring to mind Nile, but the music isn’t so crazed here, it only rarely approaching such extremities. There are certainly more intense moments, but for a death metal band, the tempos are (relatively) slow much of the time. But outside the world of the DM genre, the tempos could be called ‘mid-paced.’ You could even call some of the speeds rather doomy. And who doesn’t love it when things get super crushing and moshable?
Track ‘Resurrection’ is a brief symphonic piece without the typical metal instruments and shouting. It could have given the act an opportunity to showcase its more sophisticated writing abilities, but unfortunately, it’s rather dull and ends somewhat suddenly. Not to worry though, as the rather basic (relatively) nature of the symphonic parts in the other songs doesn’t distract from the ‘more important’ elements, for example, the riffs. `Aaru’ has some techno influences, which is a bit ill-fitting. The sound does work on its own, it just stands out like a sore thumb when compared to everything else. However, if you’ve ever wanted to know what Rammstein would sound like as a DM act, but are only curious enough to hear one song of the style, boy are you in luck. ‘Oh, Ra’ the album closer lasts a good 15 minutes, and rather than it being pretentious, it is actually one of the album’s highlights. A true journey without ever being boring. Having said that, it’s very much in the same style as the other tracks, so it doesn’t surprise as much as it could.
In conclusion, you get a decent range of speeds in the album, but moods not quite so much. It’s dark all the time which is fair enough, few want to hear CHEERFUL death metal, (though as explained some is at least a bit magical) but the Arabian vibes quickly get predictable. The music is very powerful, almost from start to finish, but annoyingly the true highlights of the album (the crazy notey and speedy shred style riffs) are rather limited and typical death chugs are used far more often. The orchestral parts may not be genius level, but they certainly add darkness and colour without taking the listener’s attention away from what is most important – being brutal! Recommended.