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Sentio Ergo Sum : Egsegesis Logicae

A surprisingly excellent debut full-length from relatively unknown Hungarian band Sentio Ergo Sum.

Information about Hungary’s Sentio Ergo Sum is a little thin on the ground, especially if you don’t speak Hungarian, but from what I can put together, they released a three track self titled EP back in 2012, before coming up with their full length debut (and the subject of this review) 'Egsegesis Logicae' this year. The album features the three songs from the EP, plus a further three new tracks, totalling a respectable 46 minutes. Whilst I don’t have the EP, so I can’t be sure, it feels like all the tracks are from the same session, so the tracks that are on both have probably been rerecorded here.

It certainly doesn’t seem like Sentio Ergo Sum are particularly well known at the moment, and I certainly came to it with no expectations at all. I was pleasantly surprised as this is an excellent record! There are shades of a number of great bands present here, from the ever present guitar harmonies of the Peaceville Three, the lengthy acoustic-guitar-into-doom-into-black-metal progressive leanings of early Opeth, the excellent keyboard arrangements of Pantheist, and some more 'modern' breakdowns that remind me of (EchO). Whilst it feels like there are a lot of outside influences, nothing ever sounds like a single band for long enough to sound derivative. Instead, it is all mixed together very tastefully, resulting in a record that sounds both familiar enough to be comforting and new enough to be interesting.

There isn’t any obviously flashy musicianship going on, but everybody concerned is clearly very competent at their instruments. The two pronged guitars are always tight and together, making the riffs sound very heavy and satisfying, and the drummer proves to be able to play right on the beat, both in the very slow parts and the blastier Black Metal sections. I’m not sure which band member handles keyboard duties (my only source of information is the variously helpful/inaccurate Metal Archives, which does not list a keyboard player), and perhaps they are just programmed, but they are very effective lending atmosphere and texture, as well as often being the lead instrument.

Production wise things could be a little better. Everything is clear, audible and well recorded, but overall it sounds a little closed and boxy when played on a good set of speakers. The guitar parts, especially in the clean sections sound somewhat flat and lifeless. A lot of the keyboard sounds are a little thin and have a bit of a Casio sound - this does however give them a nice atmosphere reminiscent of Thergothon's 'Stream from the Heavens'. The clean vocals are another area that could see some improvement. They occasionally come off as a cross between Aaron Stainthorpe and Rammstein’s Till Lindemann(!), and in these moments I love them – but far too often they fall back to holding long notes with very little articulation which can be grating. A shame as all the growled and screamed vocals, as well as some of the cleans, are excellent. Overall though, these little niggles only really come to light when you really sit down and overanalyse things as us reviewers are prone to do. In reality, none of this took away from my enjoyment of the record in the slightest.

The fact is there isn’t a single song on this record that doesn’t have at least one riff that I headbang along to every single time, and find myself singing when the record stops. In fact, most tracks have many. I’ve had this for review for a couple of weeks now, and it has taken forever to force myself to stop listening to it long enough to actually sit down and write about it! Whilst not having a totally fresh and singular approach as you might find with some other contemporary Death/Doom acts (Doomed and Atten Ash spring to mind), everything here is extremely enjoyable and I feel any fans of the genre should give it a listen – I certainly hope that Sentio Ergo Sum can expand their market outside of their local area as this is something that deserves to be heard.

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Reviewer's rating: 9/10


Tracklist :
1. Siratók
2. Segíts!
3. Egsegesis Logicae
4. Álmaink
5. Novum Silentium
6. Sentio Ergo Sum

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Sentio Ergo Sum bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-05-23 by Kris Clayton
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