ALBUM REVIEW: From Sorrow to Serenity – Remnant of Humanity
After hitting out a mere first EP, Glaswegian tech metallers From Sorrow to Serenity have emerged ready and on the prowl with their debut full length album, Remnant of Humanity.
Whilst hammering away at surgical seven strung riffs, there is an atmospheric dread accompanied to the guitar tracks, all of which of course are brought forth by highly capable guitarist Steven Jones. This thin layer of guitar melody accompanies most of the heavy riffs in the album with a bigger sound, although this is quickly becoming something to typically expect with incredibly heavy bands incorporating the more ‘tech-y’ vibe. Regardless, this does work rather well throughout the album, neither reducing the size of the riffs nor detracts from the eerie overdubbed lead lines. It’s incredibly satisfying and refreshing to hear that each song does not fall into a typical trap of all sounding very similar within the same key, as each track clearly brings a new gift to the table in a consistent vein, yet different enough to have a varied and fulfilled track listing.
Several master heavy vocalists decorate the album as guests, pouring forth from CJ McMahon, Aaron Matts and Scott Kennedy. These guest spots have been well chosen by the band, as each vocalist featured merges very well with vocalist Fraser Smith. Smith does, however, seem to rely on a few tools instead of which comes across, as the distinction and prowess he also possesses live doesn’t shine through as well as it could have.
There are various points throughout the album that come across as a little unimaginative, especially considering the genre and scene the band are burrowing themselves within. Amongst tracks that shout out fantastic songwriting, expectation airs rather too prominently. This ultimately becomes the album’s biggest flaw; it’s good, but not good enough to become one for the ages. With almost every hammering riff comes a less than appetising breakdown riff that seems to bring down the pace and excitement the track has been working on so hard to construct. This wouldn’t be an issue if the melodic content was also strong enough to carry it through, which is such a shame, as tracks like Prosthetic Eyes and Forsaken are so rich in these elements.
From Sorrow to Serenity are teetering upon something special with this record, and it’s something the band are incredibly capable are arriving at. The album isn’t wholly engaging, but it serves as proof that the band are going to be held responsible for many great and destructive forces in the future, perhaps sooner rather than later. Remnant of Humanity isn’t one such force however, as the issues above restrict the album from being a lingering pleasure and turns it into more of a pleasant passer-by.
Standout Track: Forsaken
For Fans Of: Veil of Maya, Thy Art is Murder
Written by: Andrew Macdonald