BRUTUS SYNDROME CETI okładka M-ARTCETI | Brutus Syndrome CETI - Brutus SyndromeRegardless of the actual genre, for a band that’s labeled “classic” making new album may be a risky business. Some appear determined to go on channeling their inner youngsters – their contemporary albums being so drastically detached from their previous “classic” sound that there’s no way their older fans could have dug it and an overall result being a massive disappointment.
There are also those who favor their meticulously crafted “trademark” factor over the risky ventures towards the unknown that end up with an unnecessary re-invention of the proverbial wheel. Yet, having precisely known what a new album is going to stand for music-wise, that feeling of excitement for a listener is somewhat gone. The golden formula is thus to combine those two approaches, and this is something Accept excelled at this year with their new album Blind Rage. Another band that draws heavily both from the metal tradition (characteristic to their early recordings) and the modern-day sound is the Polish quintet CETI. Fronted by the living legend of the Polish heavy metal and one of the most charismatic frontmen of the genre, Grzegorz Kupczyk (ex-Turbo, ex-Non Iron), and strengthened by the recent line-up changes that added much to the band’s overall dynamics, CETI released their ninth album Brutus Syndrome via Metal Mind Productions in early November. The album marks not only their return to the recording after a three-year break, but also, the notable anniversary in the band’s rich history as it was twenty five years ago CETI was founded by Kupczyk and a keyboardist/singer Maria ‘Marihuana’ Wietrzykowska.
Brutus Syndrome assaults with a muscular repeated drum roll, followed by a rough, gritty guitar riff that’s reminiscent of NWOBHM tradition. It’s the first track on the album, entitled “Fight To Kill” – one of many fine compromises between the modern and vintage sound flavors. Also, it’s one of the most convincing vocal performances by Grzegorz Kupczyk delivered in a feisty, aggressive manner that leaves a whole legion of metal voices behind. “Wizards Of The Modern World” brings with itself a handful of slightly different echoes sound-wise. With its furious pace building in intensity and reaching a climax in the form of a powerful, yet melodic guitar solo, this three-minute-long fiery gallop clearly gravitates towards speed and power metal-esque spheres. “Devil Made Me Do It” is again a shift towards more rough sound, yet with some ominous, spine-tingling vibe to it that is perhaps slightly Sabbath-esque. Next are the monumental “Masters Of Dull” with its heavy, meaty sound intensified by the pounding rhythm section against some nifty guitar playing, and “The Evil And The Troy” embroidered with the equilibristic, grandiose vocal parts.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of “The Song Will Remain” is a contrast between verses that are somewhat spare in expressiveness and the melody of the perfectly crafted, powerful choruses. Another contrast is that between the rough, grinding guitar riff and the finger-breaking, modern-sounding solo part it builds up to, while the six string interludes towards the song’s end have some more traditional metal flavors to it. A moment of slowdown is brought into the picture with “Somethin’ More”, the only ballad-esque track on the album. Its mellow acoustic-driven beginning against the fiery, emotionally laden final kind of resembles in structure Whitesnake’s “Sailing Ships” off their Slip Of The Tongue album – the raspy, breathy vocal manner also somewhat corresponding to Coverdale’s trademark style. The song has CETI returning to their finest ballad tradition after their previous album Ghost Of The Universe – Behind Black Curtain being purposefully deprived of ballads, and is one of the album’s absolute highlights. “Second Sin” starts much alike with its predecessor, but the acoustic intro soon develops into a sublime modern metal sound with some progressive vibes to it. It’s also one of the tracks embroidered with the dialogues between the guitar and the monumental keyboard sound, pushing the instrumental talent of the classically trained keyboardist/singer Maria ‘Marihuana’ Wietrzykowska a bit forward. The powerful, monumental sound is also an asset to “Sons Of Brutus”, a next-to-last track on the album that has this Dio-like grandeur to it, while “Run To Nowhere” with its raw lead vocals sung in a sinister voice, similar to Accept, against the background choirs and shrieking lead guitar work stands for an excellent finish to the entire material.
Brutus Syndrome is CETI returning in a form many a band can only envy them – a form the numerous counterparts of theirs only wish they were in now. It’s a solid, 10-track dose of heavy metal thunder that not only assaults a listener with its vociferous power of modern sound, but also simply electrifies them with its classic inclinations, forcing them to keep on giving it a spin almost literally. It’s heavy and rough at times, but not a simplified “bang-your-head” kind of thing. The album of interesting juxtapositions, it places crushing metal riffs against the tasteful, melodic passages and the dynamic work of rhythm section against the keyboards which have almost symphonic vibe to them. However, the main driving force of this band and also this particular album is Grzegorz Kupczyk’s extraordinary voice – still at the peak of its powers after more than 30 years on stage – and his continuous ability to utilize very different forms of vocal expression, from metal-esque scream singing to wistful and somewhat Coverdale-ish manner. Also, similarly to a few previous albums of this Polish band’s discography, Brutus Syndrome is recorded entirely in English. But the truth is that the album has an international appeal not only because of this purely linguistic aspect, but also because of its fluency in speaking the language of music tradition that’s understandable for every metal fan – from California to Kamchatka. And consequently, it’s one of the albums that is worth of being checked out and appreciated by the audiences worldwide. Highly recommended – from California to Kamchatka and all the way back!
Genre: Heavy Metal Band: Grzegorz Kupczyk – lead vocals Tomasz Targosz – bass guitar Barti Sadura – lead guitar Maria Wietrzykowska – keyboards, vocals Marcin Krystek – drums
Track List: 1. Fight To Kill 2. Wizards Of The Modern World 3. Devil Made Me Do It 4. Masters Of Dull 5. The Evil And The Troy 6. The Song Will Remain 7. Somethin’ More 8. Second Sin 9. Sons Of Brutus 10.Run To Nowhere
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Website: http://ceti-gk.com Hardrock Haven rating: 9.5/10 by Alexandra Mrozowska
– Senior Columnist –