Sceptic - _Pathetic Being_
(Last Episode, 2001)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Polish bands seem to have been coming out of the ground in rapid succession lately, and recently the duo of Lost Soul and Sceptic have certainly impressed me. Contrarily to the more brutal Lost Soul [also reviewed in this issue], Sceptic's very technical death metal boasts plenty of Atheist and Death influences -- to the extent that one of my first thoughts when listening to _Pathetic Being_ for the first time was whether they had managed to borrow the excellent Richard Christy from Death. Maciek Zieba is the man who is actually behind the drums for Sceptic; and whilst he is not quite as outstanding as Christy, his skill nevertheless is one of the album's points of interest. The rest of Sceptic are also very technically-minded, but still manage to create interesting songs that do not tent to get lost in redundant technical flourishes. The unusually audible and busy bass guitar work also deserves to be mentioned. I do feel that Michal Skotniczny's somewhat old-fashioned rasped shouts could have been better, but they're not terribly ill-suited to this style of technical death metal. The vocalist fails to add much to the final result, but isn't likely to really get on anyone's nerves either. The production isn't very powerful, but is also unlikely to become a very significant annoyance. Overall, _Pathetic Being_ is a dynamic and enjoyable record throughout, has enough variation to keep things interesting without sounding disjointed, and achieves a good balance between technicality and effective songwriting. Sceptic could very well be a band to watch closely in the future. [Paul Schwarz: "Covering Nocturnus ("Arctic Crypt") is not a run-of-the-mill thing to do, and though Sceptic still have a few kinks to iron out before they should be looked at as serious contenders on death metal's international scene, they are still anything but run-of-the-mill. Technical, dynamic and varied, they wear the influence of Nineties Death emblazoned on their sleeve -- with tattoos of Cynic and Atheist no doubt lurking beneath."]
(article published 12/8/2001)
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