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Acid Death – Pieces of Mankind (re-issued 2016)

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Last Updated on 06:57 AM by Nikos Nakos

Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Country: Greece
Label: Copro Records/Casket Music
Year: 1997/2016

Back in 1997 a band, against the trend of the era (isn’t that the case today as well?), which was black, atmospheric and power metal releases reigning the scenery, released a difficult to digest, full of progressive elements, melodic, innovative and personal record.

The cover itself reveals that this is a non-conventional record. A weird, allegoric creation, far from the genre’s typical approach… What about influences, then? It’s all about bands centered on technicality and complexity… The unsurpassed Death is the first and foremost, Infernal Majesty of the “Creations of Chaos” demo and a band that the connection was not obvious in my mind until their common mini tour in Italy. Talking about Coroner, of course… The bonds with thrash were and still are strong within Acid Death’s music.

All those hints of influences, however, do not override the band’s unique personality. It’s landmark characteristics: the lead guitars, stretching from classic metal to extreme progressive, Nigel Foxxe’s exceptional keyboards with the somewhat 80s sound, Kostas Tsompanos’ amazing, Portnoy-like performance, the distinctive manner (almost like narrating a tale) with which Savvas Betinis “places” his voice on top of the songs. The, seemingly at that time, rambling compositions (like a hall of mirrors?) look perfectly balanced and logical under the prism of modern tech death releases… A perpetual dance among rhythm and melody, the ideal scenery for Savvas to unravel his weird storytelling…

Even though I consider myself to be allergic with remastering, in this case I must admit that I quite liked the outcome in “Pieces of Mankind”. The sound is denser, the bass is now brought in the limelight and the guitars have more volume. So, the new mix showcases elements of the recording that were underwhelmed in the original mix. A big chapter of Greek metal history is once again available at the record stores. A demanding, enterprising, piece of work, essential for every record collection that needs to be replete with all the landmark recordings in Greek metal history…

4.5/6

 

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