Review: “Tartarus” EP by The Stygian Complex

Mixed and Mastered by Bound In Fear guitarist Keir Campbell (Detest, Capital Murder), the sophomore release “Tartarus” from Lexington North Carolina Deathcore trio The Stygian Complex has been a highly anticipated one. The trio who comprise frontman Kyler Cheek, guitarist and bassist Brandon Stuck and drummer Cody Benge dropped their self titled debut EP in February 2019 and went equally high grade Semtex with that one, tapping up Bodysnatcher drummer Chris Whited (Traitors, Sorroweaver)  at 1776 Recordings to handle the recording, mixing and mastering. Both of those Gentleman have glowing reputations in the Deathcore scene, the equivalent of getting in a Jason Suecof or Josh Wilbur to help your band sound great.

The title of the EP references Greek Mythology, the Tartarus being a deep abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the God like Titans, which ties in neatly to the lyrical themes of “Hellworld” from their aforementioned self titled debut. Known for their gargantuan riffs, opening instrumental “Summoned” doesn’t disappoint. Big filthy chugs that gradually slow down but don’t quite reach Downtempo make for a hellish calling from a Demonic being. That being is without doubt vocalist Cheek, whose throat shredding, artery slicing calls from the underworld are ear splittingly good when “The Final Sacrifice” kicks in. The value of Kier Campbell in the Mixing chair is confirmed with the drum sound. Benge’s work sounds thunderous with the combination big slow hits that build tension and machine gun rapid parts that decimate the weak. That eerie sense of impending annhilation carries into “Death Worship“, which sees The Stygian Complex up the ante with bloodcurdling moments as they tempo shift graciously as they pile through the track. A sonic drop off to a low and slow breakdown section brings that skull crushing anvil heavily element and is just lethal. The end of the song bleeds straight into “Scum” which takes a more traditional Deathcore approach as it judders through chugging riffs. Cheek shows that he could do Slam if he so wished with a couple of brutal roars but he prefers to deliver the vocals with his finger firmly on the hair trigger. “Tartarus” is a powerful statement piece that says that says that The Stygian Complex have climbed from the bowels of hell to drag you down to the black depths [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Summoned
  2. The Final Sacrifice
  3. Death Worship
  4. Scum

Tartarus” EP by The Stygian Complex is out now and available over at bandcamp

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