The Few Against Many - Sot
Pulverised Records
Epic Death Metal
8 songs (36'01")
Release year: 2009
Pulverised Records
Reviewed by Alex

I don’t know what moved the members of The Few Against Many to select the name for their new outfit. The players can be widely recognized as some of the most prolific in the Swedish death metal scene today. The names of Christian Alvestam, Jani Stefanovic, Anders Edlund, Patrick Gardberg and Par Johansson appear crisscrossing the likes of Scar Symmetry, Torchbearer, Satariel, Miseration and now defunct Solar Dawn and The Duskfall. The guys obviously know each other well through multiple interactions, so maybe their new band/project and its unusual moniker symbolize that there was an aspect in Swedish death metal they weren’t quite satisfied with? Only the musicians would know for certain, but Sot definitely delivers death metal in a rather unusual vein.

Not to sound any alarms unnecessarily, the burly downtuned Swedish riffs are here, and the closing of Blod is classic Dismember, but The Few Against Many created a curious very Nordic sympho-opera-epic effect in their music through the use of a quick synth lines here and there, and rather atypical background vocals. Think something like a dash of Einherjer and a splash of Hollenthon added into the potent Swedish brew. Yes, Hollenthon, as some of the synth touches do sound like a horns troupe (Hadanfard, Heresi and One with the Shadow).

You must have guessed it by now from the song titles that The Few Against Many also went for Swedish lyrics on the majority of the album. Those lyrics and the mountainous fjord melodies, as the one at the beginning of Blod, certainly complete the native feel, but I would not call Sot a folk death album. Full of the Scandinavian spirit, no folk instruments/gimmicks are used, for which The Few Against Many should be commended, as their goal is achieved without resorting to an easy way out. And certainly Alvestam’s bottomless growls sound like a Viking fully content and in touch with his elements.

Some songs on Sot are faster, like borderline breakneck crazy Abider, or the beginning of Skapelsens Sorti, some feature almost Malmsteen like leads (title track), but most of the time the band prefers to dwell on their riffs, build up the chords to culminate into saturated epic multi-vocal line choruses (Brand Mark). Mysterious and mystic motif is also represented (Heresi, One with the Shadow) to justify the cover art as if the action was taking place in an enigmatic ancient forest.

Those songs were all of these strange ideas were explored to the fullest, and integrated well, will make for an interesting death metal with a twist. Some are shorter less complete sketches, leaving me a bit in doubt if The Few Against Many will ever make it to the full-on band.

Killing Songs :
Brand Mark, Blod, Sot
Alex quoted 75 / 100
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