Review: Roots of Tragedy - Doctrines (Deluxe Edition)

Hezekiah Rose
Hezekiah Rose   Follow

Band: Roots of Tragedy (opens new window)

Album: Doctrines(Deluxe Edition)

Genre: Progressive Deathcore/Metalcore

Record Label: Independent

Release Date: June 18, 2018

Album Length: 41 Minutes


Track listing:

  1. Preludium 2:13
  2. Last Adam 4:26
  3. Promise of Persecution 4:11
  4. Doctrines Pt. 1 5:15
  5. Battleground 4:09
  6. Dýnamis 5:25
  7. This Fire 5:23
  8. Identity 5:00
  9. Doctrines Pt. II 4.53

David Sandvik, formerly of In Grief (the band later became Recreate the Sun) brings to the table an ‘extreme metal-project from Norway (opens new window)’. Mostly, artists build on their previous work, and Sandvik is no exception with Roots of Tragedy maintaining the heaviness in his previous work while bringing in a higher level of definition and refinement.

Lyrically, with a title like Doctrines, you would expect an album solidly cemented in the faith. Sandvik lays it out in the very first track, with one of the last pieces of Last Adam:

‘Two ways - One is death

Either way, your choice is what you’ll get’

The lyrics maintain a sense of responsibility throughout the album, warning us in Promise of Persecution that there will be pain, but also reward as we become children of God! Themes of cleansing and redemption from our current state are reiterated throughout, with a push for us to reunite with Yeshua (our Saviour). Identity calls us to ‘die to self’ and ‘claim your birthright’.

Sonically, the album opens with atmospheric choral, and mutterings from a slightly industrial male voice, (a nod to the developing genre of progressive death perhaps), before shifting to the heavy guitar and notes of symbols fans of heavier music so crave. Last Adam continues the theme with female vocal undertones overlaid with death growls and clean melodic vocals. As previously alluded to, the production is crisp, with the shifting between vocals demonstrating smooth transitions and linking the heavy atmospheric undertones with the more dominant distortion. Doctrines Pt. II is a pleasant end to the album, leading the listener out with a lighter finish.

Overall, the album is solid. A mix of styles ranging from the choral styles more associated with doom metal, the heavy vocals of death metal, and the more melodic voices of progressive rock. The lyrics are forceful and Sandvik doesn’t hold back about what he thinks in terms of the Christian faith. It’s hard to place a number out of 10 for this one due to the mixture of where it fits.

Definitely support the artist! Find this album on Bandcamp (opens new window)


Favorite tracks: Possibly a controversial choice, but I really love the opening track Preludium. A combination of what’s to come. Would have loved to hear a little more of the industrial sounds hinted at in this track through the album.

Rating: 8/10

Reason: It’s hard to place a number out of 10 for this one because of the mixture of where it fits.


ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

After being in a few projects, David Sandvik purchased advanced equipment, intending to start a serious project called Roots of Tragedy. Song-writing and recording were the focus, and this is clear in his debut full-length Doctrines.[1] (opens new window) With solo-projects, one instrument usually outshines the rest. However, this is not the case with Roots of Tragedy. The musicianship is outstanding, with dynamic drumming, heavy breakdowns, technical riffs, groovy bass parts, and a few guitar solos sprinkled in for good measure. If no one told you, it would be easy to believe this is a full band. I would classify this album as progressive deathcore with an underlying djent influence. David's vocal delivery is magnificent. He can smoothly transition from ferocious low gutturals to high-pitched shrieks to melodic singing. A vocalist can rarely handle screaming and singing so eloquently. His lows are reminiscent of Jason Wisdom, former vocalist of the legendary Christian death metal band, Becoming the Archetype(now in Death Therapy and The Reversalist).

As the title suggests, the concepts in this album are rooted in the teachings of Scripture. Last Adam is an admonishment against narcissistic false teachers. However, it is also a call for Christians to recognize their depravity which results in humility. Promise of Persecution calls believers to preach the Gospel, despite intense oppression and to trust God to bring about rebirth. David pleas in Doctrines Pt. I for God to grant grace and mercy to those who propagate doctrines of Devils, so that they would come to repentance and true saving faith. Dynamis deals with the doubts we all face and uses the Biblical narrative of doubting Thomas to paint this imagery. I could go on and on about the lyrics, but I will leave you will this:

In you, there is a darkness
That needs to die
From the first Adam to the Last Adam
We were all lost and sick

But the man (Messiah) who was God defeated the plague
And made a way for us to be Victorious! - Last Adam

Doctrines is a phenomenal debut album. It is a record I see myself constantly coming back to for years to come. David has crafted a unique sound with Roots of Tragedy, and I am excited for the expected follow-up coming later in 2021.


Favorite Tracks: Last Adam, Promise of Persecution, Dynamis and Identity

Rating: 8.5/10


Written by: Jeffrey A.


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