SYMBOLIC IMMORTALITY - Decision is Power (DYWIZJA KOT - CD 2002)
Back in the early 2000’s a short lived Polish label Dywizja Kot has decided to release some old Polish bands / recordings. They released tapes and CDs of bands like Quo Vadis, Sparagmos, Geisha Goner, Ahret Dev, Damnable and also Symbolic Immortality. Nowadays, re-releasing the old demos / albums is something what we see every day, but back then it wasn’t so often when a label was putting demos or other stuff from such small bands on CDs. I didn’t like all bands, which DK has released (Geisha Goner for example – never understood why this band is so praised), but some stuff was really damn good, like Ahret Dev and Damnable. Symbolic Immortality is also cool, although I must admit that generally their music was nothing more than an average death metal. And maybe the fact that the band featured a female vocalist was the only reason why they got some attention? Who knows. I guess Miriam was the first (???) female death metal growler here in Poland, although I may be wrong. I don’t remember now, but for sure this fact brought some more attention to the band. Not much more, as the music was not something spectacular, but a little bit more for sure. Anyways, even Miriam didn’t help them much, as soon after the release of “Decision is Power” the band split up for good haha.
The music of Symbolic Immortality was groovy, aggressive mid to slow paced death metal, which I must say I have troubles to compare to some other acts. Sure, maybe one can find some small traces of bands like Grave, also Gorefest, Acrostichon, maybe even Obituary comes to my mind... at least in some parts, as quite often Symbolic Immortality turns over into slightly more groove thrash metal direction. Anyways, there are some quite cool songs here, some good moments… but there are two things, which I don’t like. First one is that tendency to include some completely odd and out of place guitar melodies, leads or riffs, which basically destroy the whole brutal death metal feeling of the music. You can hear it in such songs as “Determination is Power” or “Life for Money”. Also such “Deep Supressed” – the band tends to sounds like more thrash groove metal, getting even close to bands like Machine Head in those songs, which I am not necessarily a big fan of. It just sounds weak in my opinion, also I don’t like the riffs, it’s not aggressive enough and in this song I mentioned last the vocals are just bad.
And yes, now the second thing… Vocals. Miriam is actually doing great, her vocals are really damn good and she even reminds me the vocalist of band like Hazael, so not bad at all. But what I don’t like is when they use those different, cleaner type of screams here, more thrash metal like I guess. I just dislike such kind of vocals and wish they were simply not here. Again “Life for Money” is the worse example for that. Or “Deep Supressed” – really damn bad vocals, I hate them haha!
But there are fragments of “Decision is Power”, where I like the music a lot. And that irregularity to deliver killer death metal constantly is the weakest fault of the album. I just feel like the band tried to come up with slightly more original death metal, but it just didn’t work so well. There are still some good tracks, such as “V - Don't Kill”, “Revenge”, “Sick of the Mind” and so on… I wish there were more. Also, the CD contains Symbolic Immortality demo from 1994,. The sound quality is not as good as on the album there, it’s much rawer, the vocals are also way more harsher, but it is a cool addition I think and I like this recording even more than the album. It just sounds more sick and brutal, more death metal in the vein of early Gorefest for instance. Again such “V - Don't Kill” sounds awesome also in the demo version, so yeah… it’s very nice, even I feel like the music didn’t grow old too well.
Dywizja Kot did quite good job with the stuff they released. The booklet is filled with some archival photographs, more so, there are the lyrics and liner notes written by Miriam, so we can find out more about the band and its history (there’re both Polish and English translations). So, nice presentation. Music is just good enough to listen to, but I doubt I will be coming back to this album more often than once every decade. Actually last time I listened to this CD, before last week, was ten years ago, when I got it, so… this says a lot. But if you collect everything what is an old death metal, then find Symbolic Immortality also.
Standout tracks: “V - Don't Kill”, “Revenge”, “Sick of the Mind”
Final rate: 60/100