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Sovereign – Altered Realities – Album Review

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Sovereign – Altered Realities – Album Review

Sovereign – Altered Realities
Origin: Oslo / Norway
Release: 19.01.2024
Label: Dark Descent Records
Duration: 41:33
Genre: Thrash / Death Metal / Progressive Thrash / Death Metal

Anyone who thinks that only black metal is played in the far north, or rather in Norway, is completely on the wrong track.

In 2018, four guys from Oslo dedicated themselves to death/thrash with a slight old-school prog influence. In 2020 they have their first EP Neurotic leaving his first scent mark in the underground. Striking characteristics were a raw sound paired with technical riffs, lightning-fast solos and a brutal honesty in their music. If the first songs sound so promising, what will an album sound like? I asked myself at the time? The question is now answered, the debut album is ready for your ears!

Family Ties of Death

I longed for a death/thrash metal album that was in the direction of a Testimony of the ancient von Pestilence goes. The Oslo people have now written the young, evil brother of this godsend and published it last Friday.

A logical musical development of their EP. Altered Realities contains an incredible intensity and shows how varied this genre actually is. Immediately the opener and title track Altered Realities takes smart measurements and shows in which direction things are going. Technically progressive death/thrash of the highest class. HERE can you listen to this diamond in the rough.

Caught in the rush of speed

The Norwegians have taken it upon themselves to combine their own song ideas with tried-and-tested songs from the good old days, thus allowing every fan of the old ones Pestilenceold Grave and their compatriots Nekromantheon, the black heart beat faster. There are so many bands in this style of music and each one wants to sound special and different. It’s so special to give the familiar a new freshness.

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Here we have a band that has completely embraced the genre and their identity can be heard in every guitar riff, every drum volley, every scream. Let’s take the ultra-fast one The Enigma of Intelligence. Every fiber in your body is strained by this song, so that you can hardly calm down and want to shout out this restlessness.

The present is the past

The band also knows how to vary the tempo in the songs. This ensures a balance between song-serving groove and irrepressible power. Especially the ten minute monolith Abscence of Unity illustrates this gift by exploiting all the strengths of Sovereign united.

The song is so damn good and the epic conclusion rounds off this strong album. In addition, the sound is more than important. A death/thrash album in 2024 should sound this raw and brutal. A clear purchase recommendation for those who like young, hungry bands with substance.

Sovereignremember that damn name. Altered Reality is probably the best thing I’ve heard in this genre in the last 14 years. I love the old Pestilence vibes and the outstanding uncompromising songwriting, beyond all conventions. A debut album to fall in love with because it contains a lot of passion and enthusiasm for Death/Thrash Metal. Let’s hope for more music from the boys in the next few years. Fabulous 9,5 / 10

Line Up
Vidar Fineidet – Guitar
Cato Syversrud – drums
Tommy Jacobsen – guitar
Simen Roher Grong – bass/vocals

1. Altered Reality
2. Futile Dreams
3. Nebular Waves
4. Counter Tech
5. The Enigma of Intelligence
6. Synthetic Life
7. Absence of Unity

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