Artist: Godless Truth
Album Title: Godless Truth
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Date of Release: 4 March 2022
I’ll be the first to admit that I am becoming a little addicted to the music that Transcending Obscurity Records have been serving up of late. Admittedly, not all of it is perfect, but the quality is generally very good indeed, especially when you’re going through a period of exploration and love for extreme metal of the more technical death metal variety. This self-titled release from Godless Truth is the fifth album from the label that I’ve reviewed this year so far and we’re barely two whole months into 2022.
Coincidentally, ‘Godless Truth’ is the fifth album of the Czech band’s career, a career that began way back in 1992, but which went through a four-year hiatus between 2012-2016. In fact, ‘Godless Truth’ is the first album from the tech death quintet since they unleashed ‘Arrogance Of Supreme Power’ back in 2004. I’ll be honest and say that I may have crossed paths with Godless Truth in the past, but if I did I can’t remember the occasion. It’s probably best then, to start from scratch and treat this album as my first proper exposure to the band.
And this stance is probably best, because more than half of the band are new members, joining in 2017. In fact, guitarist Petr Švancara is the longest serving musician within the band, having been present since 1994. He is now joined by fellow guitarist Ondřej Černobila, bassist Jakub Grunt, drummer Petr Mikeš, and vocalist Adam B. Sychrow. What they’ve created, however, is easily one of the most wonderfully enjoyable slabs of technical death metal I’ve heard in a while.
Trust me, if you’ve grown tired of some of the ‘normal’ melodeath fare because it’s just a little safe, too melodic, too ‘mainstream’, or whatever, then I suggest you wrap your lugholes around ‘Godless Truth’. There is melody to be heard, but it’s not watered down; instead, it is present within some sharp, abrasive, and extreme death metal, where the musicians can tear your ears apart whilst also making the experience entertaining, and downright catchy in places. Personally, whilst I still enjoy a great deal of melodic death metal, I’m loving this offering, because it’s savage, technically very adept, and it is unexpectedly catchy all at the same time. It’s a neat trick to pull off but Godless Truth have managed it.
Before I delve deeper into the guts of the music, there is a slight gripe that I have, albeit not a dealbreaker by any means. But it’s a little strange to open up the record with a minute-long instrumental intro and then drop another instrumental interlude at track three, after just one blast of the good stuff. The former, ‘Wheels Of Entity’ does little aside from create a dark atmosphere and build the tension a little, whilst ‘Glory To Desperation’, admittedly is more striking thanks to a Dissection-esque acoustic guitar, topped by a melodious lead guitar solo. But it’s an odd decision as far as I’m concerned.
That slight anomaly aside, when I referred to ‘the good stuff’, it kicks off immediately after the intro via ‘The Decision’. The band come out of the traps intent on bludgeoning us with a barrage of strong, heavy riffs, razor-sharp drumming, and a blend of deep growls and shrieks from vocalist Sychrow. But the groove-like intensity comes quickly to the fore whilst blastbeats compete with bruising guitar notes and a gorgeously low bass rumble. The overt melody appears during the lead guitar solos, with both the slightly simpler framework behind them and the solos themselves full of dexterity but with plenty of mellifluous intent too. It’s a winning approach and happily, one that returns at other points within the self-titled record.
‘Scissors’ begins with some flamboyance from all corners, ranging from slightly dissonant leads, to dancing bass, to drumming that offers everything from lightning-fast blasts to more dextrous, flamboyant sticks work. The song is dominated though by punctuations of irresistible groove, led by some properly heavy guitar tones. Like most of the compositions here, the song doesn’t sit still, with a Slayer-like wailing and gnashing lead solo the focal point of the second half alongside a reprise of the opening guitar lead.
Honestly, the more I listen to this record, the more I fall for its charms. It really does capture some of the best bits of heavy music as far as I’m concerned, wrapping them up in a final product that doesn’t lose sight of the central importance of the songs themselves. ‘Breathe Fire’ is much more your classic deathfest in full-on attack mode, but it is executed with a precision that’s highly impressive, giving off the impression that playing this kind of technical brutality is as easy as breathing.
The lead guitar solos within ‘Fortune Time’ are stunning, breathing melody and accessibility where none has a right to exist, let alone thrive. But again, the complexity of the musicianship is not compromised; just take a listen to the bass playing as but one example. I could mention more of the songs, so I will, starting with the frankly superb ‘Bred In Greed’ with more memorable lead guitar mastery, moving on to the groove-heavy ‘The Eyechain’, and ending with the final track ‘Wake Up To Obey’. Here, Godless Truth initially slow things down to create a lumbering beast before stabbing that same beast in the backside and watching him run amok at times at warp speed.
You will hopefully have cottoned on by now to the fact that I really like ‘Godless Truth’ by the band of the same name. The Czech quintet have not only grabbed my attention, but they have also held my attention, quickly turning it into admiration. And now, as I write this review, listening for the umpteenth time, I have a feeling that admiration is turning into love. Strong words, but words that befit such a strong album, one that has managed to blend my love of complexity, brutality and melody into a eminently listenable feast for the ears. Admittedly it is still early days, but as it stands, this is easily my personal favourite straight-up technical death metal release of 2022.
The Score of Much Metal: 93%
Check out my other 2022 reviews here:
You can also check out my other reviews from previous years right here: