To be honest, when i see the word symphonic used in a band’s description it always leaves me cold but Litrosis use keyboards and string arrangements to add texture to their music and not to swamp it! Their debut album, I Am Death, released on May 1st 2012 is nothing less than stunning. Distributed on Pitch Black Records, it shifts from hellish black metal to traditional metal and acoustic styles. It has been included under the ‘ BLACKEST PITCH SERIES ‘, a series of unique black metal releases that feature an eclectic blend of black metal, with the 1st pressing strictly limited to 333 individually numbered copies in a unique digipack.
Litrosis were formed in Greece in 2010 although the band are now spread across Greece, UK and the USA. In their press release, they describe themselves as ” extreme epic metal ” and, judging by the quality of I Am Death, it is a fitting tag. The 2 minute opening track, Litrosis’s intro is reminiscent as that used by Exodus on their Bonded By Blood opener to. It then segues into a Gustav Holst like horn passage, joined by a choir. In complete contrast, Insomniac’s Lullaby is full on death metal after it’s opening surging riffs subside. The blast beats, face melting guitar solos and barked vocals are a real tour de force. Soulcide opens with gentle bass lines, melodic guitars and strings before heading off into Dimmu Borgir territory with shredding guitar. Burn The Sun raises the bar even higher, it begins with churning rhythms with a cleaner vocal from Vassillis as it continues into death metal, including some fast bass picking from Stergios that Joey De Maio from Manowar would be proud of! Countless Wounds is a 2 minute adrenaline rush of maniacal vocals as the rest of the band musically try and break the speed of sound. Title track I Am Death is a fine example of how to use orchestral arrangements without drowning out the band and features ex-Savatage and Circle II Circle vocalist Zak Stevens. Album highlight for me is Bloodred Desert Plain with it’s bleak vocals over yet more brutal death metal and sweeping keyboards. Majestic is the only way to describe In The Grave You Go Alone. At 7 minutes along, it goes from a keyboard/soothing string intro into jazzy guitars with a stunning vocal as the song continues in the same vein as When A Blind Man Cries by Deep Purple. Album closer Bury The Dead draws it all to a solemn close as it features only an orchestra. After it’s 4 minutes there is 3 minute’s silence before the album’s hidden track comes in. It is a repeat of Bury The Dead but played on acoustic guitars and keyboards. Sheer genius!
Litrosis band line up :-
Alex ‘ Ad Ventus ‘- Guitars.
Vassillis ‘ Q-Snc ‘- Keyboards/Orchestration.
I Am Death track listing :-
Burn The Sun.
I Am Death.
Bloodred Desert Plain.
In The Grave You Go Alone.
Bury The Dead.
I award I Am Death a black hearted 10/10.