Power of Metal.dk Review

Sonus Mortis
War Prophecy
Style:  Symphonic Dark/Death Metal
Release date: 31 March, 2015
Playing time: 55:59

It seems that since a couple of years, it's more likely to come across independent bands and projects than ever before. Sonus Mortis goes even further as it's a one-man-project. While many songwriters actually hire people for the recording process of their solo album (Doug Harrison's Slug Comparison, Francesco Artusato's two solo albums or Javier Reyes' debut EP Basal Ganglia have all been recorded with the help of other musicians), Kevin Byrne is the man behind both the songwriting and performing of Sonus Mortis' material.

Hailing from Ireland, he has been in the music business for over 25 years and is known as multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. After releasing a 3-track-EP in 2013 and a debut album last year, he's now back with Sonus Mortis' second album called War Prophecy.  This album's musical style is rooted in dark, doom and death metal, whereat symphonic elements give the tracks a more melodic and epic character. With this information in mind, the honest truth is that I expected to get blown away by thrilling songwriting from a musician who knows exactly what he's doing.
First of all, the fact that Kevin Byrne plays a whole series of instruments and both sings and growls is doubtlessly impressive as his playing and singing abilities are in esse. Other than that, he has a pleasant tone in his voice.
The question, though, is if he can keep up with other great bands regarding songwriting and the answer is, to be honest, definitely no. Byrne tried to include several influences into War Prophecy - styles ranging from dark metal inspired by Katatonia to extreme metal in the style of Behemoth. Unfortunately, he failed the aim to keep this album nice and diverse as there's everything and nothing of that diversity at the same time: When the album doesn't sound like a cheap copy of Dimmu Borgir, War Prophecy is filled up with unnecessary layers of keyboard melodies. In addition, the record is way too long. Nobody releases 15 track albums anymore unless those 15 tracks are damn good. And as expected, two-thirds of those tracks may be arranged well, but miss to please the listener with gripping moments. And that's bitter because you are waiting for exactly those and all of a sudden, the last track ends. And even after several passes, I haven't been able to find what I was searching for. So to sum up: Despite War Prophecy being decently written, the record turned out to sound incomplete.

Kevin Byrne may be able to play a bunch of instruments, but the music he pulled off this year lacks an identity and intensity, and as it happens, one should be able to expect just that from an experienced musician. Sadly,  the goal he set his sights on with Sonus Mortis couldn't be reached with War Prophecy.

01. Chthonic Chasm
War Prophecy
The Crypt Of The Death Prophet
Banshee Remnants
Sonus Mortis
Mass Exodus
The Rise Of The Obsidian Destroyer
Memento Mori
Systematic Eradication
Shell Shocked
12. Cavity
13. The New Holocaust Hypocrisy
14. Necronom IV
15. Zenith
Label: Independent
Distribution: Independent
Artwork rating: 70/100
Reviewed by: Cristina Somcutean
Date: 31 March, 2015
Website: www.sonusmortis.com