REVIEW: Sotz’ Deliver A Historical Approach To Death Black Metal With Their Latest Album, ‘Popol Vuh’

Centred on the ancient, mythical Mayan civilisation, see how the Portuguese band are taking a very different approach to the genre.

Amid a limitless discussion of current events throughout the latest releases, it has recently appeared as though the same repetitive motifs have become inescapable in the metal world. 

Whether it be from those already established across the industry or the up-and-coming artists looking to form a name for themselves, the releases of the past year have become increasingly monotonous; echoing the same hollow message with no end in sight.

Or at least this appeared to be the case prior to the release of Sotz’ debut album, Popol Vuh

With their distinctive Death Black Metal sound, it is clear to see how the band have taken a much different route with this album- giving a much needed lease of life to the growingly-nonchalant metal scene.

Originating in Portugal back in 2008, the inspiration for the band is simple: to shed light upon the myth that centres around the Ancient Mayan Civilisation.

Following some alterations to the band’s lineup, this latest released album presents the unique sound of Sotz’ better and more eloquently than ever before. Depicting a stunning blend of both Death and Black Metal throughout, Popol Vuh captures that punch of energy desperately missed by those longing for the return of live performances.

‘Oracles’, ‘Tree of Knowledge’ and title track, ‘Popol Vuh’, all showcase this distinctive edge best. From the haunting moments of instrumental sections to the thunderous eruption of vocals and earth-shattering riffs, these are the stand-out moments of the album. 

Capturing the vigour and intensity reminiscent of Behemoth, these are tracks recommended for those unfamiliar with Sotz’- acting as a gateway into their discography and guaranteed to provoke intrigue about the band’s future.

For fans of Black Metal, however, tracks ‘Seige of Tikal’ and ‘Prospects of Pakal’ remain the heaviest releases of the album. Channelling immense energy and precision throughout, this is where Sotz’ demonstrate their talent most strongly… pushing their already-unique sound into new, more ferocious territory.

Whilst maintaining a sound distinctive to them, it is subtle parallels to acts such as Mastodon and Mushroomhead that guarantee that Sotz’ will appeal to countless metalheads around the globe.

Reminiscent in aspects to some of the biggest names on the scene, it is the fusion of straightforward, high-energy riffs alongside a nuanced message about the Mayan civilisation that enables the band to find a path exclusive to them. 

In its entirety, Popol Vuh remains a must-hear album for devoted metal fans. From the emotion gathered in the stunning opening track, ‘Cenote’ all the way through to the larger-than-life force of the title track, the release showcases the unique and powerful sound of Sotz’ best and provides the perfect escape for those left underwhelmed by the current metal scene.

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Popol Vuh is out now and available on all major streaming platforms.

To keep up to date with Sotz’, check out the links below!

https://www.facebook.com/sotzband

https://www.instagram.com/sotzband/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYFPxY2KVSBX-F50uTlsSvg

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