Review: Symphony of Heaven - Maniacal Entropik Discordium

Erik Morgan
Erik Morgan   Follow

Band: Symphony of Heaven (opens new window)

Album: Maniacal Entropik Discordium

Release Date: December, 17th 2021

Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Label: Rottweiler Records (opens new window)

Track List:

  1. ​ SoulRetch
  2. ​ Light Upon the Pillars
  3. ​ To Gaze Upon Destruction
  4. ​ Entropy
  5. ​ Dead Winter Fields
  6. ​ The Darkest Nights
  7. ​ The Grieving
  8. ​ The Arch of Time
  9. ​ Verge of Annihilation
  10. ​ Obtaining Tranquility
  11. ​ Amid the Righteous Oaks
  12. ​ Flesh and the Power it Holds (Death Cover)

Symphony of Heaven is a Blackened Death Metal band from Owensville, Indiana, consisting of PATHOS (Logan Thompson, guitar and vocals), Eero Tertsunen (lead guitar), Timoratus (David Napier, bass guitar), and ASAPH (Mason Beard, drums). Symphony of Heaven is for fans of bands like Behemoth, Slayer, and Antestor, Pantokrator (opens new window), Elgibbor (opens new window), Frost Like Ashes (opens new window).

Sound and Production: This album was not what I was expecting when I saw the words “Blackened Death Metal,”, that is a good thing in my book. The production is superb as every instrument is audible throughout the entire album. Nothing overtakes the mix. It is worth noting that the album was mixed/mastered by musician/producer Derek Corzine (Syringe (opens new window), ex. Bloodline Severed (opens new window), Blood Thirsty (opens new window), Crowned In Sorrow (opens new window), etc) of Corzine Studios (opens new window).

Symphony of Heaven is extremely talented. I was blown away by the sheer musicianship on display. Both guitarists shine throughout with pulse-pounding, neck-breaking riffs, and some delightful solos. It’s not just tremolo picking, though never fear there is plenty of that here as well. Drums and bass aren’t bland either, with a mix of simple playing that drives the riffs. As well as some pretty complex fills and blast beats to spice things up.

Style: Symphony of Heaven isn’t just a been-there-done-that Blackened Death Metal band. There are some punk influences here, mainly heard through the drums. As well as, some thrash and progressive rock influences coming from the guitars. This influence isn’t just a couple of songs either these influences are heard throughout the entire album, keeping everything fresh and new and making an exciting listening experience. “Maniacal Entropik Discordium” as a whole is an album that is worthy of the time of every fan of extreme metal fan. The vocal delivery on display is also a treat, with lots of variations in style. There are high screeches that are prominent in the scene. However, there are also mid to low screams and gutturals reminiscent of some of the -core genres, mainly deathcore. So there are multiple influences all over the record, creating this sonic masterpiece.

Lyrical Themes: Symphony of Heaven have written a very emotionally driven album, mainly with very desperate lyrics that aren’t all happy and empowering. This is a very gloomy album - dealing with self-defeat, despair, but also, redemption, and being brought out of these traumatic circumstances. At first glance, these are not the lyrics that one would expect from a Christian band, but upon closer analysis, these are all themes that just about everyone can relate to. Symphony of Heaven even pulls out the big guns on “Entropy,” and includes lyrics about how death is preferable to living because of all of the suffering of this life, while still holding onto God to bring us out and hold us near.

Despite all of the heavy themes explored throughout this album, there are always calls out to God, which does bring in some hope, however, it is a very dark hope. Again, this is not a “happy” album but an authentic look into life. Anyone who listens to it and reads the lyrics for themselves would have a visceral reaction and their own story that can relate to these themes. That is what sets Maniacal Entropik Discordium apart from some other releases, as it leaves this suffering that is constantly brought up fairly vague, open-ended, and up for interpretation so that multiple people can listen and have a different take away from anyone else. The final track on the album (excluding the Death cover), “Obtaining Tranquility,” is the only song on this record that is outright, in-your-face hopeful. And, if set to some different instrumentation and vocals, it could be a song that I could see people singing in church. This album is a journey, and it held my attention the whole way through.

Highlights: All of the tracks on “Maniacal Entropik Discordium” are special, but there are a few that I would encourage people to listen to specifically. The first is “Entropy.” This was the first song that I heard off of this record and it piqued my interest in the band. It starts slow and calm before becoming a fairly straightforward death metal song, with all of the pieces falling into place nicely. The second song to check out is “Dead Winter Fields.” This track starts with some basic strumming and choir singing before progressing into a pounding and beautiful track. One more song to check out has to be the cover of Death’s “Flesh and the Power It Holds.” Symphony of Heaven did this song justice, and fans of Death will be happy with the way it turned out.

Rating: 9/10

Reasoning: This album is up for album of the year for me. The musicianship, the sound, and the quality on display here are something that I’ve been looking for, for awhile now. If you like Behemoth, but you can’t look past the blatant satanic themes, then this is the album and band for you.