Technical Death Metal is, well, hard. A hard sub genre to play, let alone master. A hard sub genre to read also if you are into music reading. The share scale of the technicality in this sub genre will overwhelm you when you watch YouTube videos… and you come across the infamous ‘sweep-picking’ technique. So, because of this, when you see a band do Technical Death Metal, it’s one of two things, it’s either it’s good, or it’s bad. There really isn’t any middle here. SAQAR’s The Reckoning falls in the ‘good’ batch. We have covered a couple of Egyptian bands now on the site and frankly speaking we aren’t surprised anymore. We have some hidden gems up north.
My beef with this EP though is the intro (an instrumental titled Prologue.) Say I was scoring this album based on the intro alone i’d label this EP piss poor, and that’s saying little cause I love EPs. It is so basic, it killed the overall vibe of the EP (as a start,) but I promise you when you manage to get past the drab intro, you should be ready for a face melting song titled, Deed of the Serpent. Ah yes, a worthy song of the label ‘Technical Death Metal.’ Everything comes together on this track here. From the drumming to the riffs which we will call BRUTAL, obviously. C’mon, it’s a subgenre of Death Metal we are talking about here, what did you think? The song starts fast, then boom the vocals. When the vocals are done you get an insane mash of everything from sick licks to heart mauling drums. Then it all slows down (sorta.) Like a breakdown but not nearly as calming. It’s all still madness at this point and wow, it’s good. Same can be said for the next two songs Fear No Evil and Babel (in terms of insanity I mean) I have a deeply soft spot for the song Oblivion because it takes me back to something right out of the mid 80s. Lord, it’s a throwback of some sort, I like to think. Well till the vocals kick in that is. 9mins long too. I won’t talk much about Oblivion but I strongly believe it’ll be the fav song for most on this EP. Abyss is the last track on this EP. I will shelf my comments on this song, it’s better you listen to that. Spoiler free zone. It’s a little too late for that at this point though no?
The songs on this album don’t vary too much. Not that that will bother the core Technical Death Metal fans much though. Perhaps that was done intentionally I won’t know and I won’t guess here. No sir. This is an EP right for the pit and by pit I mean… well, you know. Well in case you don’t know, i’m referring to moshpits.
The EP does what it sets out to do well, Overwhelm the senses. And it scores high there for me. The real downside for me has to be that intro or opening track. Would have been better if that wasn’t there. But that doesn’t take the real shine off this EP. Nope. It doesn’t even slow the marauding train that is this EP, SAQAR did good guys.
Final Rating: 4/5 Stars